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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Primary Cell Wall Nanomechanical Properties in Internal Cells of Non-Fixed Maize Roots

1
Kazan Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, FRC Kazan Scientific Center of RAS, Lobachevsky Str. 2/31, Kazan 420111, Russia
2
Nanotechnology Research and Education Center, Vyatka State University, Moskovskaya Str. 36, Kirov 610000, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(6), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8060172
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Abstract

The mechanical properties of cell walls play a vital role in plant development. Atomic-force microscopy (AFM) is widely used for characterization of these properties. However, only surface or isolated plant cells have been used for such investigations, at least as non-embedded samples. Theories that claim a restrictive role of a particular tissue in plant growth cannot be confirmed without direct measurement of the mechanical properties of internal tissue cell walls. Here we report an approach of assessing the nanomechanical properties of primary cell walls in the inner tissues of growing plant organs. The procedure does not include fixation, resin-embedding or drying of plant material. Vibratome-derived longitudinal and transverse sections of maize root were investigated by AFM in a liquid cell to track the changes of cell wall stiffness and elasticity accompanying elongation growth. Apparent Young’s modulus values and stiffness of stele periclinal cell walls in the elongation zone of maize root were lower than in the meristem, i.e., cell walls became more elastic and less resistant to an applied force during their elongation. The trend was confirmed using either a sharp or spherical probe. The availability of such a method may promote our understanding of individual tissue roles in the plant growth processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Atomic-force microscopy (AFM); nanomechanical properties; primary cell wall; root; Zea mays Atomic-force microscopy (AFM); nanomechanical properties; primary cell wall; root; Zea mays
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Kozlova, L.; Petrova, A.; Ananchenko, B.; Gorshkova, T. Assessment of Primary Cell Wall Nanomechanical Properties in Internal Cells of Non-Fixed Maize Roots. Plants 2019, 8, 172.

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