The thickness of cotton fiber cell walls is an important property that partially determines the economic value of cotton. To better understand the physical and chemical manifestations of the genetic variations that regulate the degree of fiber wall thickness, we used a comprehensive set of methods to compare fiber properties of the immature fiber (im) mutant, called immature because it produces thin-walled fibers, and its isogenic wild type Texas Marker-1 (TM-1) that is a standard upland cotton variety producing normal fibers with thick walls. Comprehensive structural analyses showed that im and TM-1 fibers shared a common developmental process of cell wall thickening, contrary to the previous report that the phase in the im fiber development might be retarded. No significant differences were found in cellulose content, crystallinity index, crystal size, matrix polymer composition, or in ribbon width between the isogenic fibers. In contrast, significant differences were detected in their linear density, cross-section micrographs of fibers from opened bolls, and in the lateral order between their cellulose microfibrils (CMFs). The cellulose mass in a given fiber length was lower and the CMFs were less organized in the im fibers compared with the TM-1 fibers. The presented results imply that the disruption of CMF organization or assembly in the cell walls may be associated with the immature phenotype of the im fibers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics