Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth, and has qualities that make it suitable for biofuel. There are new tools for the visualisation of the cellulose synthase complexes in living cells, but those do not show their product, the cellulose microfibrils (CMFs). In this study we report the characteristics of cell wall textures, i.e. the architectures of the CMFs in the wall, of root hairs of Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula and Vicia sativa and compare the different techniques we used to study them. Root hairs of these species have a random primary cell wall deposited at the root hair tip, which covers the outside of the growing and fully grown hair. The secondary wall starts between 10 (Arabidopsis) and 40 (Vicia) µm from the hair tip and the CMFs make a small angle, Z as well as S direction, with the long axis of the root hair. CMFs are 3–4 nm wide in thin sections, indicating that single cellulose synthase complexes make them. Thin sections after extraction of cell wall matrix, leaving only the CMFs, reveal the type of wall texture and the orientation and width of CMFs, but CMF density within a lamella cannot be quantified, and CMF length is always underestimated by this technique. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and surface preparations for transmission electron microscopy reveal the type of wall texture and the orientation of individual CMFs. Only when the orientation of CMFs in subsequent deposited lamellae is different, their density per lamella can be determined. It is impossible to measure CMF length with any of the EM techniques.
- cortical microtubules
- nodulation factors
- geometrical model
- tip growth
Akkerman, M., Franssen-Verheijen, M. A. W., Immerzeel, P., den Hollander, L., Schel, J. H. N., & Emons, A. M. C. (2012). Texture of cellulose microfibrils of root hair cell walls of Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula, and Vicia sativa. Journal of Microscopy, 247(1), 60-67. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2818.2012.03611.x