• FTIR spectroscopy ;
  • Arabidopsis thaliana ;
  • cutin;
  • cellwall;
  • petal;
  • imaging;
  • technical advance


A procedure for the simultaneous analysis of cell-wall polysaccharides, amides and aliphatic polyesters by transmission Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (FTIR) has been established for Arabidopsis petals. The combination of FTIR imaging with spectra derivatization revealed that petals, in contrast to other organs, have a characteristic chemical zoning with high amount of aliphatic compounds and esters in the lamina and of polysaccharides in the stalk of the petal. The hinge region of petals was particular rich in amides as well as in vibrations potentially associated with hemicellulose. In addition, a number of other distribution patterns have been identified. Analyses of mutants in cutin deposition confirmed that vibrations of aliphatic compounds and esters present in the lamina were largely associated with the cuticular polyester. Calculation of spectrotypes, including the standard deviation of intensities, allowed detailed comparison of the spectral features of various mutants. The spectrotypes not only revealed differences in the amount of polyesters in cutin mutants, but also changes in other compound classes. For example, in addition to the expected strong deficiencies in polyester content, the long-chain acyl CoA synthase 2 mutant showed increased intensities of vibrations in a wavelength range that is typical for polysaccharides. Identical spectral features were observed in quasimodo2, a cell-wall mutant of Arabidopsis with a defect in pectin formation that exhibits increased cellulose synthase activity. FTIR thus proved to be a convenient method for the identification and characterization of mutants affected in the deposition of cutin in petals.