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Juniper wood structure under the microscope


Main conclusion

The investigations confirm the physicochemical nature of the structure and self-assembly of wood substance and endorse its application in plant species.

The characteristic morphological features, ultra-microstructure, and submolecular structure of coniferous wood matrix using junipers as the representative tree were investigated by scanning electron (SEM) and atomic-force microscopy (AFM). Novel results on the specific composition and cell wall structure features of the common juniper (Juniperus Communis L.) were obtained. These data confirm the possibility of considering the wood substance as a nanobiocomposite. The cellulose nanofibrils (20–50 nm) and globular-shaped lignin–carbohydrate structures (diameter of 5–60 nm) form the base of such a nanobiocomposite.

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This research was performed with funding from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and from the Russian Fund of Basic Researches under grant agreement (No. 14-03-31551 mol_a_2014) with the use of equipment of Centre of Common Use of Scientific Equipment “Critical Technologies of Russian Federation in the Field of Environmental Safety of Arctic” (Institute of Ecological Problems of the North, Ural Division of Russian Academy of Sciences) and Centre of Common Use of Scientific Equipment “Arctic” (Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after Lomonosov).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Anna A. Krasikova.

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Bogolitsyn, K.G., Zubov, I.N., Gusakova, M.A. et al. Juniper wood structure under the microscope. Planta 241, 1231–1239 (2015).

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  • Atomic-force microscopy
  • Cell wall
  • Juniper
  • Lignin–carbohydrate complex
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Ultramicroscopic structure