Effect of calcium oxalate crystals on the micromechanical properties of sclerenchyma tissue from the pecan nutshell (Carya illinoinensis)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the presence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals on the micromechanical properties of sclerenchyma tissue from the pecan nutshell (Carya illinoinensis). The microstructure of the cross-section nutshell was examined using light microscopy (LM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Using an instrumented indentation system, indentation tests with maximum loads of 500 mN were made on the biological material where the variables studied were the number of crystals present in the evaluated area and the size of individual crystals. Microscopic analysis revealed that the pecan nutshell consists of sclerenchyma tissue with multiple CaOx crystals randomly distributed throughout the material, exhibiting prismatic shapes and various sizes. The results of the indentation tests showed that the examined areas where there were crystals (1, 2 or up to 3) presented values of hardness and elastic modulus significantly higher (P < 0.05) compared to the sclerenchyma (without crystals). Likewise, there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) between the values of the micromechanical properties of the areas evaluated as a function of the number of crystals. On the other hand, it was observed that the size of the crystals did not show a direct correlation with the mechanical properties evaluated as expected. In conclusion, the biomineralization phenomenon is a successful strategy designed by nature to improve the rigidity of the pecan nutshell, where the CaOx crystals strengthen the structure by increasing the micromechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Volume170
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Calcium oxalate crystals
  • Indentation test
  • Micromechanical properties
  • Pecan nutshell
  • Sclerenchyma

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of calcium oxalate crystals on the micromechanical properties of sclerenchyma tissue from the pecan nutshell (Carya illinoinensis)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this