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Atomic force microscopy based nanoindentation study of onion abaxial epidermis walls in aqueous environment
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An atomic force microscopy based nanoindentation method was employed to study how the structure of cellulose microfibril packing and matrix polymers affect elastic modulus of fully hydrated primary plant cell walls. The isolated, single-layered abaxial epidermis cell wall of an onion bulb was used as a test system since the cellulose microfibril packing in this cell wall is known to vary systematically from inside to outside scales and the most abundant matrix polymer, pectin, can easily be altered through simple chemical treatments such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and calcium ions. Experimental results showed that the pectin network variation has significant impacts on the cell wall
modulus, and not the cellulose microfibril packing.
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