, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 49–64 | Cite as

Comparison and validation of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic methods for monitoring secondary cell wall cellulose from cotton fibers

  • Hee Jin KimEmail author
  • Yongliang Liu
  • Alfred D. French
  • Christopher M. Lee
  • Seong H. Kim
Original Paper


The amount of secondary cell wall (SCW) cellulose in the fiber affects the quality and commercial value of cotton. Accurate assessments of SCW cellulose are essential for improving cotton fibers. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy enables distinguishing SCW from other cell wall components in a rapid and non-invasive way. Thus it has been used for monitoring SCW development in model plants. Recently, several FT-IR methods have been proposed for monitoring cotton fiber development. However, they are rarely utilized for assessing SCW cellulose from cotton fiber due to limited validation with various cotton species grown in different conditions. Thus, we compared and validated three FT-IR methods including two previously proposed methods analyzing entire spectra or specific bands as well as a new method analyzing FT-IR spectral regions corresponding to cellulose with various cotton fibers grown in planta and in vitro. Comparisons of the FT-IR methods with reference methods showed that the two FT-IR methods analyzing the entire spectra or cellulose regions by principal component analysis monitored SCW qualitatively, whereas the FT-IR method analyzing specific bands (708, 730, and 800 cm−1) by a simple algorithm allowed the monitoring of SCW cellulose levels quantitatively. The quantitative FT-IR method is a potential substitute for lengthy and laborious chemical assays for monitoring SCW cellulose levels from cotton fibers, and it can be used for a better understanding of cotton fiber SCW development and as a part of the quality assessment tools used to guide choices for improving fiber quality.


Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR FT-IR) spectroscopy Cotton fiber property Cellulose Crystallinity Secondary cell wall (SCW) 



This research was supported by the USDA-ARS Research Project #6054-21000-017-00D, and Cotton Incorporated-Sponsored Project #12-199. Authors thank Drs. Zhongqi He and Huai Cheng of USDA-ARS, Southern Regional Research Center for critically reviewing the manuscript. Authors acknowledge Ms. Tracy Condon for fiber sample preparation, and Mr. Wilson Buttram and Keith Stevenson for preparing cotton fields. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Supplementary material

10570_2017_1547_MOESM1_ESM.docx (111 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 110 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cotton Fiber Bioscience Research Unit, Southern Regional Research CenterUSDA-ARSNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Cotton Structure and Quality Research Unit, Southern Regional Research CenterUSDA-ARSNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Research InstitutePennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Center for Lignocellulose Structure and FormationPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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