, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 147–155 | Cite as

Food reserves of scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

II. Seasonal changes and radial distribution of carbohydrate and fat reserves in pine wood
  • Christine Fischer
  • Wolfgang Höll
Original Articles


Starch, soluble sugars, triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols and free fatty acids were measured in 30-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees during an annual cycle in the sapwood (youngest ten xylem rings). The radial distribution of carbohydrates and lipids was studied in the trunkwood of 90 -to 150-year-old Scots pine trees collected at the end of the growing season. Determination of the compounds was performed using specific enzymatic assays, capillary gas chromatography and thin layer chromatography. The amounts of glucose, fructose, sucrose, and galactose/arabinose in the sapwood were slightly higher in winter than in summer. Raffinose/stachyose increased up to 5-fold during the cold period. At the beginning of the growing season starch amounts rose, and then decreased in summer and autumn. No concentration changes were observed in the total amounts of diacylglycerols and fatty acids throughout the year. Triacylglycerol levels were slightly higher in February than in summer and autumn. Relative frequencies of individual fatty acids were similar in all lipid fractions. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, starch and triacylglycerols disappeared almost entirely at the transition zone from sapwood to heartwood. In contrast, free fatty acids and galactose/arabinose rose in centripetal direction, and diacylglycerols remained constant across trunk cross-sections. The relative amounts of individual fatty acids changed markedly in the free fatty acid fraction and in the triacylglycerols when crossing the sapwood-heartwood boundary. Concentration changes of reserve materials are discussed in relation to season, mobilization and translocation processes, dormancy, frost resistance, and heartwood formation. The results are compared to those found in needles.

Key words

Pinus sylvestris Starch Sugars Triacylglycerols Xylem 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson AB, Riffer R, Wong A (1969a) Monoterpenes, fatty and resin acids in Pinus ponderosa and Pinus jeffreyi. Phytochemistry 8: 873–875Google Scholar
  2. Anderson AB, Riffer R, Wong A (1969b) Monoterpenes, fatty and resin acids of Pinus edulis and Pinus albicaulis. Phytochemistry 8: 1999–2001Google Scholar
  3. Anderson AB, Riffer R, Wong A (1969c) Monoterpenes, fatty and resin acids of Pinus contorta and Pinus attenuata. Phytochemistry 8: 2401–2403Google Scholar
  4. Anderson AB, Riffer R, Wong A (1970) Chemistry of genus Pinus. Holzforschung 24: 182–184Google Scholar
  5. Bauch J, Höll W, Endeward R (1975) Some aspects of wetwood formation in fir. Holzforschung 29: 198–205Google Scholar
  6. Bernard-Dagan C (1988) Les substances de reserve du Pin maritime: role eventuel des metabolites secondaires. Bull Soc Bot Fr 135: 25–40Google Scholar
  7. Bonicel A, Haddard G, Gagnaire J (1987) Seasonal variations of starch and major soluble sugars in the different organs of young poplars. Plant Physiol Biochem 25: 451–459Google Scholar
  8. Bonicel A, Verçosa de Médeiros Raposo N (1990) Variation of starch and soluble sugars in selected sections of poplar buds during dormancy and post-dormancy. Plant Physiol Biochem 28: 577–586Google Scholar
  9. Brown CL (1971) Secondary growth. In: Zimmermann MH, Brown CL (ed) Trees, structure and function. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 67–124Google Scholar
  10. Dietrichs HH (1964) Das Verhalten von Kohlenhydraten bei der Holzverkernung. Holzforschung 18: 14–24Google Scholar
  11. Drossopoulos JB, Niavis CA (1988) Seasonal changes of the metabolites in the leaves, bark and xylem tissues of olive tree (Olea europaea L.) II. Carbohydrates. Ann Bot 62: 321–327Google Scholar
  12. Fischer C, Höll W (1991) Food reserves of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). I. Seasonal changes in the carbohydrate and fat reserves of pine needles. Trees 5: 187–195Google Scholar
  13. Glerum C, Balatinecz JJ (1980) Formation and distribution of food reserves during autumn and their subsequent utilization in jack pine. Can J Bot 58: 40–54Google Scholar
  14. Gordon JC, Larson PR (1968) Seasonal course of photosynthesis, respiration, and distribution of 14C in young Pinus resinosa trees as related to wood formation. Plant Physiol 43: 1617–1724Google Scholar
  15. Hansen J, Beck E (1990) The fate and path of assimilation products in the stem of 8-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees. Trees 4: 16–21Google Scholar
  16. Hillis WE (1987) Heartwood and tree exudates. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Höll W (1975) Radial transport in rays. In: Zimmermann MH, Milburn JA (eds) Encyclopedia of plant physiology, NS. Transport in plants. I. Phloem transport. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 432–450Google Scholar
  18. Höll W (1981) Eine dünnschichtchromatographische Darstellung des Jahresgangs löslicher Zucker im Stammholz von drei Angiospermen und einer Gymnosperme. Holzforschung 35: 173–175Google Scholar
  19. Höll W (1985) Seasonal fluctuation of reserve materials in the trunkwood of spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst]. J Plant Physiol 117: 355–362Google Scholar
  20. Höll W, Lipp J (1987) Concentration gradients of free sterols, steryl esters and lipid phosphorus in the trunkwood of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Trees 1: 79–81Google Scholar
  21. Höll W, Pieczonka K (1978) Lipids in the sapand heartwood of Picea abies (L.). Karst. Z Pflanzenphysiol 87: 191–198Google Scholar
  22. Höll W, Priebe S (1985) Storage lipids in the trunk and rootwood of Tilia cordata Mill. from the dormant to the growing period. Holzforschung 39: 7–10Google Scholar
  23. Jeremias K (1968) Zum Verhalten einiger Kohlenhydrate in Blättern und Rinden der Pappelsorten Oxford, Rochester und Androscoggin. Mitt Ver Forstl Standortskd Forstpflanzenzüchtung 18: 89–94Google Scholar
  24. Kandler O, Hopf H (1980) Occurrence, metabolism, and function of oligosaccharides. In: Preiss J (ed) The biochemistry of plants, vol 3. Academic Press, New York, pp 221–270Google Scholar
  25. Kozlowski TT, Keller T (1966) Food relations in woody plants. Bot Rev 32: 293–382Google Scholar
  26. Little CHA (1970a) Derivation of the springtime starch increase in balsam fir (Abies balsamea). Can J Bot 48: 1995–1999Google Scholar
  27. Little CHA (1970b) Seasonal changes in carbohydrate and moisture content in needles of balsam fir (Abies balsamea) Can J Bot 48: 2021–2028Google Scholar
  28. Little CHA (1974) Relationship between the starch level at budbreak and current shoot growth in Abies balsamea L. Can J For Res 4: 268–273Google Scholar
  29. Lloyd JA (1975) Fatty acids, resin acids and phenols in Pinus muricata. Phytochemistry 14: 483–485Google Scholar
  30. Magel EA, Drouet A, Claudot AC, Ziegler H (1991) Formation of heartwood substances in the stem of Robinia pseudoacacia L. I. Distribution of phenylalanine ammonium lyase and chalcone synthase across the trunk. Trees 5: 203–207Google Scholar
  31. Pomeroy MK, Siminovitch D, Wightman F (1970) Seasonal biochemical changes in living bark and needles of red pine (Pinus resinosa) in relation to adaption to freezing. Can J Bot 48: 953–967Google Scholar
  32. Roughan G, Slack R (1982) Cellular organization of glycerolipid metabolism. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 33: 97–132Google Scholar
  33. Roughan G, Slack R (1984) Glycerolipid synthesis in leaves. Trends Biochem Sci 9: 383–386Google Scholar
  34. Saranpää P, Höll W (1989) Soluble carbohydrates of Pinus sylvestris L. sapwood and heartwood. Trees 3: 138–143Google Scholar
  35. Saranpää P, Nyberg H (1987a) Lipids and sterols of Pinus sylvestris L. sapwood and heartwood. Trees 1: 82–87Google Scholar
  36. Saranpää P, Nyberg H (1987b) Seasonal variation of neutral lipids in Pinus sylvestris L. sapwood and heartwood. Trees 1: 139–144Google Scholar
  37. Sauter JJ (1988) Temperature-induced changes in starch and sugars in the stem of Populus x canadensis “robusta”. J Plant Physiol 132: 608–612Google Scholar
  38. Senser M, Beck E (1979) Kälteresistenz der Fichte. II. Einfluß von Photoperiode und Temperatur auf die Struktur und photochemischen Reaktionen von Chloroplasten. Ber Dtsch Bot Ges 92: 243–259Google Scholar
  39. Siminovitch D, Wilson CM, Briggs DR (1953) Studies on the chemistry of the living bark of the black locust in relation to its frost hardiness. V. Seasonal transformations and variations in the carbohydrates: starch-sucrose interconversions. Plant Physiol 28: 383–400Google Scholar
  40. Ursino DJ, Paul J (1973) The long-term fate and distribution of 14C photoassimilated by young white pines in late summer. Can J Bot 51: 683–687Google Scholar
  41. Ursino DJ, Nelson DC, Krotlov G (1968) Seasonal changes in the distribution of photo-assimilated 14C in young pine plants. Plant Physiol 43: 845–852Google Scholar
  42. Van Bel AJE (1990) Xylem-phloem exchange via the rays: the undervalued route of transport. J Exp Bot 41: 631–644Google Scholar
  43. Yamashita T (1990) Variations in amounts of carbohydrates, amino acids and adenine nucleotides in mulberry tree (Morus alba L.) stems during transitional phases of growth. Tree Physiol 6: 191–200Google Scholar
  44. Yoshioka H, Nagai K, Aoba K, Fukumoto M (1988) Seasonal changes of carbohydrate metabolism in apple trees. Sci Hortic 36: 219–227Google Scholar
  45. Ziegler H (1964) Storage, mobilization and distribution of reserve material in trees. In: Zimmermann MH (ed) The formation of wood in forest trees. Academic Press, New York, pp 303–320Google Scholar
  46. Ziegler H (1968) Biologische Aspekte der Kernholzbildung. Holz Roh-Werkst 26: 61–68Google Scholar
  47. Zimmermann MH (1971) Storage, mobilization and circulation of assimilates. In: Zimmermann MH, Brown CL (eds) Trees, structure and function. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 307–319Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Fischer
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Höll
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Botanik und MikrobiologieTechnische Universität MünchenMunich 2Germany

Personalised recommendations