Structural Characterization of Tension Wood

Structural Characterization of Tension Wood

Structural Characterization of Tension Wood

With a state-of-the-art biophysical analysis platform, CD BioSciences is well-positioned to provide high-quality structural characterization services for tension wood. We help clients gain insight into the structural properties associated with tension wood formation through multiple structural techniques such as wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), helping to expand the critical knowledge base required for the development of advanced biomass improvement strategies.


Tension wood is a type of wood formed by plants in response to environmental stresses, and it is often found on branches and leaning stems. This newly produced wood is an example of mechanical acclimation in trees. Tension wood is considered to be a complex physiological phenomenon and its formation in woody angiosperms is characterized by a variety of phenotypic changes, such as thicker secondary walls, reduced lignin biosynthesis and relatively high sugar yields. Therefore tension wood has the potential to be an ideal source for biofuel production.

Detailed characterization of tension wood faces challenges due to the difficulty of isolating scattering contributions from wood cells in the primary wall, secondary wall and additional G-layers, as well as the difficulty of extracting cellulose protofibrils from specific layers without destroying their natural structure. The development of biophysical techniques such as small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) has allowed intact samples to be studied, providing important information to further elucidate the morphological and structural aspects of tension wood that contribute to increased sugar production.

Scattering experimental samples obtained from the Populus branch under bending stress. Fig.1 Scattering experimental samples obtained from the Populus branch under bending stress. (Sawada, 2018)

Our Services

  • We offer our clients anatomical characterization services for tension wood, including:
    • Measurement of the tangential diameter of vessels and fiber length.
    • Analysis of microfibre angles and proportions of cellular components (axial parenchyma, vessels, ray, gelatinous fibers and nongelatinous fibers).
    • Analysis of the effect of gelatinous fiber presence on vessel diameter.
  • We offer our clients structural characterization services for tension wood, including:
    • Estimation of crystal characteristics, such as crystal size and crystallinity, by X-ray diffraction.
    • Providing multi-scale morphological details from submicron to nanometer scale by SANS.
    • Morphological analysis at atomic resolution scales, such as the packing of cellulose chains within microcrystals, by WAXD.


  • High-resolution instruments and minute experimental errors
  • Powerful analysis software
  • Detailed and comprehensive analysis report

CD BioSciences is a long-standing expert in the provision of biophysical analysis services. Our dedicated academic team has focused on plant growth and morphogenetic studies for decades and we are confident in applying our experience and expertise to provide a detailed structural characterization of tension wood for our clients. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more information.


  1. Sawada, D.; et al. Tension wood structure and morphology conducive for better enzymatic digestion. Biotechnology for biofuels. 2018, 11(1): 1-9.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
Related Services
Get In Touch

CD BioSciences is a biotechnology company focused on biophysical services. We are proficient in both chemistry and biophysics, and have a comprehensive biophysical platform containing a wide range of advanced technologies.

  • Tel:
  • Email: