Submitted to: Textile Research Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Rajasekaran, K., Muir, A.J., Ingber, B.F., French, A.D. 2006. A dehydration method for immature or wet cotton fibers for light and electron microscopy. Textile Research Journal. 76(6):514-518.
Interpretive Summary: Microscopic studies of cotton fibers should be undertaken ideally without altering standard fiber quality parameters, such as perimeter and cell wall area, during specimen preparation. This has been successfully accomplished on well-dried, mature cotton fiber samples but not on developing, immature fibers. Embedding and processing of immature or wet fibers pose problems due to lengthy dehydration procedures and, as a result, possible alterations of cell wall properties. Evaluation of fiber quality parameters, such as perimeter, cell wall thickness, and other fiber traits due to genetic engineering or textile applications, is essential to understand the impact of introduced transgenes or post-harvest treatments in cotton fiber. A modified fixation and dehydration procedures were applied for the study of cotton fiber cross sections of wet, immature, or never dried fiber samples by image analysis and by electron microscopy. The method should also be useful to researchers in evaluating cross sections of immature or wet cotton fibers by light or electron microscopy and by image analysis.
Technical Abstract: A rapid dehydration procedure with acidified 2,2-dimethoxypropane has been successfully applied to immature or wet cotton fibers. The ultrastructural integrity and fiber quality parameters, such as cell wall area and perimeter of developing and mature cotton fibers, were well-preserved using this procedure as demonstrated by light, scanning, and electron microscopy of whole fibers and cross-sections.