Hydration effects on spacing of primary-wall cellulose microfibrils: a small angle X-ray scattering study

Craig J Kennedy, Adriana Šturcová, Michael C Jarvis, Timothy J Wess

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    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Celery collenchyma cell walls are typical
    of primary plant cell walls in their composition but
    contain unusually well-oriented cellulose microfibrils
    that are packed with more regularity than normal,
    permitting small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)
    experiments that would not otherwise be possible.
    Small-angle scattering data were obtained for the cell
    walls in essentially their native state and for isolated
    cellulose, in a fibrous form that retained the physical
    shape and microfibril orientation of the native cell
    walls. The scattering patterns showed a distinct peak
    attributed to the interference contribution to the
    convolution of form and interference functions. The
    position of the peak attributed to the interference
    function implied a mean centre-to-centre microfibril
    spacing of approximately 3.2 nm in dry isolated
    cellulose and 3.8 nm in dry cell walls. Hydration
    increased the mean microfibril spacing in the cell
    walls to 5.4 nm but had only a small effect on the
    mean microfibril spacing of isolated cellulose. In the
    scattering profile from intact, hydrated cell walls it
    was just possible to discern the position of the first
    Bessel minimum, from which a microfibril diameter
    in the range 3.1–3.6 nm may be estimated. This
    estimate is likely to include attached hemicellulose
    chains. Porod plots of scattering intensity indicated a
    relatively sharp interface between microfibrils and
    their immediate surroundings. The SAXS data imply
    that cellulose microfibrils 2.6–3.0 nm in diameter are
    not quite in lateral contact with one another in the
    isolated cellulose and are augmented by hemicelluloses
    and separated by readily hydrated matrix
    polysaccharides in the native plant cell wall.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)401-408
    Number of pages8
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


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