Matrix polysaccharides affect preferred orientation of cellulose crystals in primary cell walls

Sintu Rongpipi, William J. Barnes, Oskar Siemianowski, Dan Ye, Joshua T. Del Mundo, Sydney Duncombe, Xiaoran Xin, Chenhui Zhu, Michael F. Toney, Ying Gu, Charles T. Anderson, Enrique D. Gomez, Esther W. Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spatial organization and interactions of constituent components influence cell growth and determine physical and chemical properties of the cell wall, including its rigidity, flexibility, and degradability. Elucidating the interactions between cell wall polysaccharides is crucial for advancing our knowledge of how cell walls are assembled and for designing approaches to efficiently break down cell walls to produce renewable energy and biomaterials. Here, we investigated the effect of defects in the biosynthesis of cell wall components on the nanoscale organization of cellulose in primary cell walls through grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) measurements of hypocotyls of wild type Arabidopsis thaliana and of cellulose, pectin, and xyloglucan (hemicellulose) deficient mutants. GIWAXS reveals changes in lattice spacings, coherence lengths, and relative crystalline content for cellulose between wild type and mutant plants. In addition, X-ray pole figures constructed using GIWAXS and X-ray diffraction (XRD) rocking scans quantify an emerging measure of cellulose organization, the degree of preferred orientation (texture) of cellulose crystals with respect to the cell wall plane. Comparing X-ray pole figures from pectin-deficient and xyloglucan-deficient mutants to that of wild type plants reveals that cellulose texture is disrupted in pectin-deficient mutants, but not in xyloglucan mutants. Our results indicate that a deficiency of pectin during cell wall biosynthesis alters cellulose organization in plant cell walls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1415
Number of pages19
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Polymers and Plastics

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