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Cellulose

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 13–18 | Cite as

AFM observation of ultrathin microfibrils in fruit tissues

  • Hiroshi Niimura
  • Tomoya Yokoyama
  • Satoshi Kimura
  • Yuji Matsumoto
  • Shigenori KugaEmail author
Article

Abstract

Polysaccharide microfibrils in fruit tissue of higher plants (strawberry, peach, and rambutan) were examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM). For preserving native cellulose microfibrils, a combination of 2% NaClO2 and 4% NaOH extraction was applied to the materials. This corresponds to mild alkali extractin of holocellulose, and denoted here as weak alkali-resistant polysaccharide, WARP. The amount of neutral sugars corresponded to 53–95% of that of WARP. Glucose was the most abundant in the neutral sugars, being 74–87%. AFM examination of microfibrils dispersed on mica substrate allowed accurate determination of fibril widths as 1.0–2.0 nm. Their straight fibrillar shape and the results of X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy indicate that these fibrils are cellulose. These results constitute direct evidence for existence of ultrafine cellulose microfibrils hitherto assumed from X-ray diffraction and NMR analyses.

Keywords

Cellulose microfibril AFM Height measurement Fibril width 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We appreciate assistance by Dr. Tomokazu Sasaki for AFM expertise. This work was partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, No. 19380181.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Niimura
    • 1
  • Tomoya Yokoyama
    • 1
  • Satoshi Kimura
    • 1
  • Yuji Matsumoto
    • 1
  • Shigenori Kuga
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomaterials Science, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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