Submitted to: Advances in Biotechnology for Textile Processing
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2002
Publication Date: 12/1/2002
Citation: HIMMELSBACH, D.S., KIM, J., AKIN, D.E., HARDIN, I.R. COTTON FIBER/SEED COAT STRUCTURE AND FLAX FIBER ENZYME TREATMENT AS ANALYZED BY MID-IR MICROSPECTROSCOPY. HARDIN, I.R., AKIN, D.E., WILSON, E.J., EDITORS, THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, ATHENS, GEORGIA. ADVANCES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR TEXTILE PROCESSING. 2002. P. 117-127. Interpretive Summary: Lack of knowledge of the structural-chemical phenomena that affect the quality of processed textile fibers has prevented improvements in the final product of fibers derived from seed as well as those from bast tissue sources. Research involving the use of mid-infrared microspectroscopy and mapping has elucidated the important chemical characteristics that are involved in the association of fibers with their attached and associated tissues. Research on flax fiber using this approach revealed the location and identity of waxes, pectins, cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides and aromatic materials within bast type tissues. Similar research on cotton fibers that are bound within the seed coat revealed the location of waxes, two types of pectins, tannin-type and lignin-type aromatics in relation to the cellulosic fibers. This work on was complemented with histochemical staining on analogous samples resulting in the conclusion that pectins and tannin-type aromatics were responsible for holding the fibers to the seed coat. This causes seed coat fragments remain with the processed fiber in the case of Upland cotton. Beyond just assessment of untreated fiber, the mid-infrared mapping technique is useful in the study of fiber treatments. Enzymatic treatment of fibers is an efficient and selective way to improve fiber quality. With prior knowledge of the chemical composition of matrix fibers enables the proper selection of enzymes. Mid-infrared mapping was successfully employed to provide the assessment of enzyme and enzyme/chelator treatments of flax fibers. A similar approach would be applicable to the cotton fiber/seed coat and to any other similar natural fiber material.
Technical Abstract: Cotton fibers are bound within the seed coat, and the bond strength influences cotton quality. High bond strengths can result, after ginning, in fibers contaminated with seed coat fragments or with increased short fiber contents. Mid-infrared micro- spectroscopy was used to derive fundamental data on the structure and composition of seed coat tissues. The location of carbohydrates, lipids, and aromatics within the seed coat were determined, and components in the fiber/seed coat region that appeared to bind to the fibers were identified. Mid-infrared results were corroborated by results from histochemical staining reactions on similar sections of seed coat with attached fibers. Results suggest opportunities using biotechnology to modify cotton or improve ginning methods to improve cotton quality. Beyond just assessment of untreated fiber, the mid-infrared mapping technique is useful in the study of fiber treatments. Enzymatic treatment of fibers is an efficient and selective way to improve fiber quality. However, prior knowledge of the chemical composition of fibers is essential to make the proper selection of enzymes. The results of the actual enzymatic treatments are the true measure of the effectiveness of the process. Mid-infrared mapping was also employed to provide the assessment of enzyme and enzyme/chelator treatments of flax fibers. A similar approach would be applicable to any natural fiber material.