Comparison of macromolecular interactions in the cell walls of hardwood, softwood and maize by fluorescence and FTIR spectroscopy, differential polarization laser scanning microscopy and X-ray diffraction

Research paper by D. Djikanović, A. Devečerski, G. Steinbach, J. Simonović, B. Matović, G. Garab, A. Kalauzi, K. Radotić

Indexed on: 08 Dec '15Published on: 08 Dec '15Published in: Wood Science and Technology


Interactions between macromolecules in the cell walls of different plant origin were compared, namely spruce wood (Picea omorika (Pančić) Purkiňe) as an example of softwood, maple wood (Acer platanoides L.) as a hardwood and maize stems (Zea mays L.) as a herbaceous plant from the grass family and widely used agricultural plant. Interactions of macromolecules in isolated cell walls from the three species were compared by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and fluorescence spectroscopy. Linear dichroism of the cell walls was observed by using differential polarization laser scanning microscope (DP-LSM), which provides information of macromolecular order. This method has not previously been used for comparison of the cell walls of various plant origins. It was shown that the maize cell walls have higher amount of hydrogen bonds that lead to more regular packing of cellulose molecules, simpler structure of lignin, and a higher crystallinity of the cell wall in relation to the walls of woody plants. DP-LSM and fluorescence spectroscopy results indicate that maize has simpler and more ordered structure than both woody species. The results of this work provide new data for comparison of the cell wall properties that may be important for selection of appropriate plant for possible applications as a source of biomass. This may be a contribution to the development of efficient deconstruction and separation technologies that enable release of sugar and aromatic compounds from the cell wall macromolecular structure.