Comparative Analysis of Macro/Microstructures and Constituents of Sorghum and Reed Straw.

Song J, Li G, Liu Y, Zou M

Published: 9 February 2024 in Biomimetics (Basel, Switzerland)
Keywords: cross-section, elemental composition, macro and microstructure, node characteristics, reed, sorghum
Pubmed ID: 38392153
DOI: 10.3390/biomimetics9020107

Node-containing straws exhibit superior mechanical properties compared to node-free straw plants, particularly in terms of shear resistance and compression resistance. We explore the relationship between the structure and mechanical properties of straw materials, providing deeper insights for the field of biomechanics. In this study, we focused on two node-containing straw plants, namely sorghum and reed. The main characteristics of sorghum and reed stalks were compared using macroscopic observation, stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and EDS analysis. This study revealed numerous similarities and differences in the macro- and microstructures as well as the elemental composition of sorghum and reed stalks. The functional groups in sorghum and reed stalks were largely similar, with the primary elements being C and O. Distinguishing features included a higher tapering and a slightly larger reduction in wall thickness in sorghum stalks compared to reed stalks. The cross-section of sorghum stalks was filled with pith structures, while reed stalks exhibited a hollow structure. The vascular bundles in sorghum typically showed a paired arrangement, whereas those in reeds were arranged in odd numbers. Furthermore, sorghum straws contained more Cl and no Br, while the parenchyma of reed straws contained higher Br. The C and O proportions of sorghum straws and reed straws are 50-53% (50-51%) and 45-46% (48-49%), respectively. These variations in elemental composition are believed to be correlated with the mechanical properties of the materials. By conducting a detailed study of the micro/macrostructures and material composition of sorghum and reed straw, this paper provides valuable insights for the field of biomechanics.