Toward in Vivo Chemical Imaging of Epicuticular Waxes

in: Plant Physiology (2010)
Weissflog, Ina; Vogler, Nadine; Akimov, Denis; Dellith, Andrea; Schachtschabel , Doreen; Svatoš, Aleš; Boland, Wilhelm; Dietzek, Benjamin; Popp, Jürgen
Epicuticular waxes, which are found on the outer surface of plant cuticles, are difficult to study in vivo. To monitor the growth, development, and structural alterations of epicuticular wax layers, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) might be used. CARS, as a Raman-based technique, not only provides structural insight but also chemical information by imaging the spatial distribution of Raman-active vibrations. Here, we present a comparative study using CARS and scanning electron microscopy to characterize the structure of epicuticular waxes. The ability of CARS to provide detailed structural information on the biologically important wax layer was detailed on the examples of cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), hoya (Hoya carnosa), and ceriman/Swiss cheese plant (Monstera sp. aff. deliciosa). We anticipate that the work presented will open a doorway for online monitoring of formation and alterations of epicuticular wax layers.

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