BESC researchers are integrating technologies for imaging plant tissues and cell walls from millimeter to nanometer scales. (a) Part of a cross-section of a switchgrass stem at micrometer scale. Autofluorescent signals from compounds in the stem show less lignin and more sunlight-absorbing chlorophyll in the green outer layer on the right. Deeper blue areas toward the stem’s center show more highly lignified xylem tissue used for water and nutrient transport. Atomic force micrograph showing nanometer-scale detail of the interwoven mesh of rope-like, lignocellulosic microfibril bundles in a switchgrass cell wall.
Credit or Source: BESC researcher Shi-You Ding, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
US DOE. 2009. Bioenergy Research Centers: An Overview of the Science, DOE/SC-0116, US Department of Energy. (p. 19)