, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 259-270

Heterogeneity in formation of lignin—XI: An autoradiographic study of the heterogeneous formation and structure of pine lignin

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Selective labeling of p-hydroxyphenyl-, guaiacyl-and syringylpropane moieties in protolignin was achieved by administration of corresponding 3H-labeled monolignol glucosides to differentiating xylem of pine. The growing process of the protolignin macromolecule in the specific morphological region was visualized by application of high resolution microautoradiography to the selectively labeled wood tissue.

p-Hydroxyphenyl lignin is formed mainly in the compound middle lamella and cell corner in an early stage of cell wall differentiation. There are two peaks of deposition of guaiacyl lignin in the compound middle lamella at an early stage and in the secondary wall at a late stage. The content of condensed guaiacyl units is higher in the middle lamella than in the secondary wall lignin. Syringyl lignin is formed mainly in the inner layer of the secondary wall in a late stage as a minor structural moiety. During the formation of the cell wall, protolignin grows under definite biological regulations to a heterogeneous macromolecule which consists of various structural moieties arranged in a regular manner. The origin of the heterogeneous structure was explained as a result of the biogenesis of protolignin in the cell wall.