Submitted to: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2003
Publication Date: 12/8/2003
Citation: MORVAN, C., ONZIGHI, A.C., HIMMELSBACH, D.S., DRIOUICH, A., AKIN, D.E. BUILDING FLAX FIBRES: MORE THAN ONE BRICK IN THE WALLS. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY. 2003. VOL. 41. PP. 935-944. Interpretive Summary: Problems related to efficient retting of flax and determining fiber properties are influenced by the complex nature of the components existing within and on the surface of fibers. Fundamental research is required to identify the types and locations of these complex materials. Researchers at the University of Rouen, France, and the Russell Research Center, Athens, GA, USA combined research techniques to investigate carbohydrates, lipids, and aromatics that influence flax fiber characteristics. These fundamental results are important in furthering understanding of how to improve the retting and fiber properties of flax towards improving flax fiber production in Europe and the US.
Technical Abstract: Current development in biochemical studies and in microscopical techniques, carried out either with various spectrometers to acquire NMR, MIR, Raman, UV images or in conjunction with appropriate subtractive treatments and polysaccharide staining as well as immunogold labelling with highly specific antibodies, have yielded novel information on the nature of fibre components. The main components associated with cellulose microfibrils consist of long chains of 1,4- -galactans possibly attached to RG-1 backbone. The 'pectic' composition of these encrusting and/or structural 'hemicelluloses' renews the controversy debate on the pectin/hemicellulose definition. More importantly, it points out that the adhesive matrix between cellulose layers and microfibrils within a given layer is specific to the secondary walls of the flax fibres, and does not belong to the main families of glucan or xylan linking polysaccharides nor to the less abundant mannan group.