Sum frequency generation (SFG) vibration spectroscopy can selectively detect crystalline cellulose without spectral interference from cell wall matrix components. Here, we show that the cellulose SFG spectrum is sensitive to cellulose microfibril alignment and packing within the cell wall. SFG intensity at 2,944 cm-1 correlated well with crystalline cellulose contents of various regions of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) inflorescence, while changes in the 3,320/2,944 cm-1 intensity ratio suggest subtle changes in cellulose ordering as tissues mature. SFG analysis of two cellulose synthase mutants (irx1/cesa8 and irx3/cesa7) indicates a reduction in cellulose content without evidence of altered cellulose structure. In primary cell walls of Arabidopsis, cellulose exhibited a characteristic SFG peak at 2,920 and 3,320 cm21, whereas in secondary cell walls, it had peaks at 2,944 and 3,320 cm-1. Starch (amylose) gave an SFG peak at 2,904 cm-1 (CH methine) whose intensity increased with light exposure prior to harvest. Selective removal of matrix polysaccharides from primary cell walls by acid hydrolysis resulted in an SFG spectrum resembling that of secondary wall cellulose. Our results show that SFG spectroscopy is sensitive to the ordering of cellulose microfibrils in plant cell walls at the meso scale (nm to μm) that is important for cell wall architecture but cannot be probed by other spectroscopic or diffraction techniques.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science