Overcoming the recalcitrance in lignocellulosic biomass for efficient hydrolysis of the polysaccharides cellulose and hemicellulose to fermentable sugars is a research priority for the transition from a fossilfuel-based economy to a renewable carbohydrate economy. Methylglucuronoxylans (MeGXn) are the major components of hemicellulose in woody biofuel crops. Here, we describe efficient production of the GH10 xylanase Xyl10B from Thermotoga maritima in transplastomic plants and demonstrate exceptional stability and catalytic activities of the in planta produced enzyme. Fully expanded leaves from homotransplastomic plants contained enzymatically active Xyl10B at a level of 11-15% of their total soluble protein. Transplastomic plants and their seed progeny were morphologically indistinguishable from non-transgenic plants. Catalytic activity of in planta produced Xyl10B was detected with poplar, sweetgum and birchwood xylan substrates following incubation between 40 and 90°C and was also stable in dry and stored leaves. Optimal yields of Xyl10B were obtained from dry leaves if crude protein extraction was performed at 85°C. The transplastomic plant derived Xyl10B showed exceptional catalytic activity and enabled the complete hydrolysis of MeGXn to fermentable sugars with the help of a single accessory enzyme (α-glucuronidase) as revealed by the sugar release assay. Even without this accessory enzyme, the majority of MeGXn was hydrolyzed by the transplastomic plant-derived Xyl10B to fermentable xylose and xylobiose. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.