Preliminary study of Cell Wall Structure and its Mechanical Properties of C3H and HCT RNAi Transgenic Poplar Sapling
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This research focused on the cell wall structure and its mechanical properties of down-regulated Coumaroyl shikimate 3-hydroxylase (C3H) transgenic poplar and down-regulated hydroxycinnamoyl CoA: shikimate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) transgenic poplar (Populus alba x P. glandulosa cv '84 k'). The wood samples with respect to microstructure, the longitudinal elastic modulus (MOE) and hardness of wood fiber secondary cell wall were investigated. The results show that the lignin contents in the two transgenic poplar woods were lower than non-modified wood. The C3H transgenic poplar and HCT transgenic poplar have more than 18.5% and 16.1% cellulose crystalline regions than nonmodified poplar respectively. The diameter of the fiber cell and the vessel element of transgenic poplars are smaller. Double radial vessel cell wall thicknesses of both transgenic poplars were smaller than nonmodified poplar. Cell wall ratios for the transgenic poplar were higher than non-modified poplar and cell wall density was significantly lower in both C3H and HCT transgenic poplar. The cell wall MOEs of C3H and HCT transgenic poplar was 5.8% and 7.0% higher than non-modified poplar. HCT can be more effective than C3H to modify the trees by considerably increasing mechanical properties of the cell wall.