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Transmission Electron Microscopy, Fluorescence Microscopy, and Confocal Raman Microscopic Analysis of Ultrastructural and Compositional Heterogeneity of Cornus alba L. Wood Cell Wall

  • Jianfeng Ma (a1), Zhe Ji (a1), Xia Zhou (a1), Zhiheng Zhang (a1) and Feng Xu (a1) (a2)...

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fluorescence microscopy, and confocal Raman microscopy can be used to characterize ultrastructural and compositional heterogeneity of plant cell walls. In this study, TEM observations revealed the ultrastructural characterization of Cornus alba L. fiber, vessel, axial parenchyma, ray parenchyma, and pit membrane between cells, notably with the ray parenchyma consisting of two well-defined layers. Fluorescence microscopy evidenced that cell corner middle lamella was more lignified than adjacent compound middle lamella and secondary wall with variation in lignification level from cell to cell. In situ Raman images showed that the inhomogeneity in cell wall components (cellulose and lignin) among different cells and within morphologically distinct cell wall layers. As the significant precursors of lignin biosynthesis, the pattern of coniferyl alcohol and aldehyde (joint abbreviation Lignin-CAA for both structures) distribution in fiber cell wall was also identified by Raman images, with higher concentration occurring in the fiber secondary wall where there was the highest cellulose concentration. Moreover, noteworthy was the observation that higher concentration of lignin and very minor amounts of cellulose were visualized in the pit membrane areas. These complementary microanalytical methods provide more accurate and complete information with regard to ultrastructural and compositional characterization of plant cell walls.

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Current address: Institute of Material Science and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China

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Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
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