Fifth Plant Biomechanics Conference Volume I and II (2024)

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Campus agronomique-BP 316-97379 Kourou cedex, Guyane Française Scientific Committee

Julian Vincent

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Journal of Experimental Botany

The strength of plants: theory and experimental methods to measure the mechanical properties of stems

2017 •

Darshil Shah

From the stems of agricultural crops to the structural trunks of trees, studying the mechanical behaviour of plant stems is critical for both commerce and science. Plant scientists are also increasingly relying on mechanical test data for plant phenotyping. Yet there are neither standardised methods nor systematic reviews of current methods for the testing of herbaceous stems. We discuss the architecture of plant stems and highlight important micro- and macro-structural parameters that need to be controlled and accounted for when designing test methodologies, or that need to be understood to explain observed mechanical behaviour. Then, we critically evaluate various methods to test structural properties of stems, including flexural-bending (two-, three-and four-point bending) and axial-loading (tensile, compressive and buckling) tests. Recommendations are made on best practices. This review is relevant to fundamental studies exploring plant biomechanics, mechanical phenotyping of plants, and the determinants of mechanical properties in cell walls, as well as to application-focussed studies, such as in agro-breeding and forest-management projects, aiming to understand deformation processes of stem structures. The methods explored here can also be extended to other elongated, rod-shaped organs (e.g. petioles, midribs and even roots).

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WURC; Wood Ultrastructure Research Centre 1996-2007

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Annals of botany

Plant material features responsible for bamboo's excellent mechanical performance: a comparison of tensile properties of bamboo and spruce at the tissue, fibre and cell wall levels

2014 •

Notburga Gierlinger

Bamboo is well known for its fast growth and excellent mechanical performance, but the underlying relationships between its structure and properties are only partially known. Since it lacks secondary thickening, bamboo cannot use adaptive growth in the same way as a tree would in order to modify the geometry of the stem and increase its moment of inertia to cope with bending stresses caused by wind loads. Consequently, mechanical adaptation can only be achieved at the tissue level, and this study aims to examine how this is achieved by comparison with a softwood tree species at the tissue, fibre and cell wall levels. The mechanical properties of single fibres and tissue slices of stems of mature moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) and spruce (Picea abies) latewood were investigated in microtensile tests. Cell parameters, cellulose microfibril angles and chemical composition were determined using light and electron microscopy, wide-angle X-ray scattering and confocal Raman microsco...

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WURC - Wood Ultrastructure Research Centre 1996-2007 Final report

2008 •

Geoffrey Daniel

The Wood Ultrastructure Research Centre (WURC) ( at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) was established July 1st 1996. The partners in the initial framework of WURC were STFI-Packforsk (STFI-Packforsk), the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Chalmers University of Technology (CTH) together with seven forest industry-related companies including: AssiDoman, Korsnas, Mo och Domsjo, SCA, StoraEnso Sodra Cell and Eka Chemicals. Through various divisions and mergers two further companies (Holmen, KappaKraftliner) joined WURC in phase 3 making a total of 9 supporting industries that remained with the Centre throughout its duration. The number of Universities involved in WURC´s activities expanded during later phases and members from the Departments of Biochemistry and Quantum Chemistry, Uppsala University as well from the Division of Chemistry, Karlstad University and Department of Natural Sciences, Orebro University also participated in the Ce...

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Comptes Rendus Biologies

Wood formation in Angiosperms

2010 •

Christian Breton

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Plant, Cell & Environment

Transgenic poplars with reduced lignin show impaired xylem conductivity, growth efficiency and survival

2011 •

Peter Kitin

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Variation in wood density and anatomy in a widespread mangrove species

2012 •

Nele Schmitz

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Comptes Rendus Biologies

Lignification and tension wood

2004 •

Arata Yoshinaga

Hardwood trees are able to reorient their axes owing to tension wood differentiation. Tension wood is characterised by important ultrastructural modifications, such as the occurrence in a number of species, of an extra secondary wall layer, named gelatinous layer or G-layer, mainly constituted of cellulose microfibrils oriented nearly parallel to the fibre axis. This G-layer appears directly involved in the definition of tension wood mechanical properties. This review gathers the data available in the literature about lignification during tension wood formation. Potential roles for lignin in tension wood formation are inferred from biochemical, anatomical and mechanical studies, from the hypotheses proposed to describe tension wood function and from data coming from new research areas such as functional genomics.

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Annals of Botany

Feeling stretched or compressed? The multiple mechanosensitive responses of wood formation to bending

2018 •

Eric Badel

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Fifth Plant Biomechanics Conference Volume I and II (2024)
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