Regiospecific Cellulose Orientation and Anisotropic Mechanical Property in Plant Cell Walls

Jongcheol Lee, Juseok Choi, Luyi Feng, Jingyi Yu, Yunzhen Zheng, Qian Zhang, Yen Ting Lin, Saroj Sah, Ying Gu, Sulin Zhang, Daniel J. Cosgrove, Seong H. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Cellulose microfibrils (CMFs) are a major load-bearing component in plant cell walls. Thus, their structures have been studied extensively with spectroscopic and microscopic characterization methods, but the findings from these two approaches were inconsistent, which hampers the mechanistic understanding of cell wall mechanics. Here, we report the regiospecific assembly of CMFs in the periclinal wall of plant epidermal cells. Using sum frequency generation spectroscopic imaging, we found that CMFs are highly aligned in the cell edge region where two cells form a junction, whereas they are mostly isotropic on average throughout the wall thickness in the flat face region of the epidermal cell. This subcellular-level heterogeneity in the CMF alignment provided a new perspective on tissue-level anisotropy in the tensile modulus of cell wall materials. This finding also has resolved a previous contradiction between the spectroscopic and microscopic imaging studies, which paves a foundation for better understanding of the cell wall architecture, especially structure-geometry relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4759-4770
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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