Journal Highlight: Non-invasive imaging of cellulose microfibril orientation within plant cell walls by polarized Raman microspectroscopy

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  • Published: Jan 10, 2016
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: Raman
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Non-invasive imaging of cellulose microfibril orientation within plant cell walls by polarized Raman microspectroscopy
The distribution of microfibril orientation in cellulose plant cell walls in terms of director angle and anisotropy magnitude has been measured by polarized Raman microspectroscopy.

Non-invasive imaging of cellulose microfibril orientation within plant cell walls by polarized Raman microspectroscopy

Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2016, 113, 82-90
Lan Sun, Seema Singh, Michael Joo, Miguel Vega-Sanchez, Pamela Ronald, Blake A. Simmons, Paul Adams and Manfred Auer

Abstract: Cellulose microfibrils represent the major scaffold of plant cell walls. Different packing and orientation of the microfibrils at the microscopic scale determines the macroscopic properties of cell walls and thus affect their functions with a profound effect on plant survival. We developed a polarized Raman microspectroscopic method to determine cellulose microfibril orientation within rice plant cell walls. Employing an array of point measurements as well as area imaging and subsequent Matlab-assisted data processing, we were able to characterize the distribution of cellulose microfibril orientation in terms of director angle and anisotropy magnitude. Using this approach we detected differences between wild type rice plants and the rice brittle culm mutant, which shows a more disordered cellulose microfibril arrangement, and differences between different tissues of a wild type rice plant. This novel non-invasive Raman imaging approach allows for quantitative assessment of cellulose fiber orientation in cell walls of herbaceous plants, an important advancement in cell wall characterization.

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