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Epidermal Cell Surface Structure and Chitin−Protein Co-assembly Determine Fiber Architecture in the Locust Cuticle

Abstract : The geometrical similarity of helicoidal fiber arrangement in many biological fibrous extracellular matrices, such as bone, plant cell wall, or arthropod cuticle, to that of cholesteric liquid mesophases has led to the hypothesis that they may form passively through a mesophase precursor rather than by direct cellular control. In search of direct evidence to support or refute this hypothesis, here, we studied the process of cuticle formation in the tibia of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, where daily growth layers arise by the deposition of fiber arrangements alternating between unidirectional and helicoidal structures. Using focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) volume imaging and scanning X-ray scattering, we show that the epidermal cells determine an initial fiber orientation, from which the final architecture emerges by the self-organized co-assembly of chitin and proteins. Fiber orientation in the locust cuticle is therefore determined by both active and passive processes.
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https://hal.sorbonne-universite.fr/hal-03066445
Contributor : Guillaume Laurent <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 12:12:33 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 2:30:04 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 7:22:23 PM

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Sanja Sviben, Oliver Spaeker, Mathieu Bennet, Marie Albéric, Jan-Henning Dirks, et al.. Epidermal Cell Surface Structure and Chitin−Protein Co-assembly Determine Fiber Architecture in the Locust Cuticle. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Washington, D.C. : American Chemical Society, 2020, 12 (23), pp.25581-25590. ⟨10.1021/acsami.0c04572⟩. ⟨hal-03066445⟩

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