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Planta. 1985 Oct;166(2):161-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00397343.

Lattice images from ultrathin sections of cellulose microfibrils in the cell wall of Valonia macrophysa Kütz.

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Department of Wood Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University, 606, Kyoto.


The crystalline ultrastructure and orientation of cellulose microfibrils in the cell wall of Valonia macrophysa were investigated by means of high-resolution electron microscopy of ultrathin (approx. 28 nm) sections. With careful selection of imaging conditions, ultrastructural aspects of the cell wall that had remained unresolved in previous studies were worked out by direct imaging of crystal lattice of cellulose microfibrils. It was confirmed that each microfibril is a single crystal having a lateral dimension of 20·20 nm(2), because lattice images of 0.39 nm resolution were clearly recorded with no major disruption in the whole area of the cross section of the microfibril. There was no evidence for the existence of 3.5-nm elementary fibrils which have been considered to be basic crystallographic and morphological units of cellulose in general. It was also confirmed that the axial directions (crystallographic fiber direction) of adjacent microfibrils in each single lamella of the cell wall are opposite to each other.


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