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Planta

, Volume 219, Issue 2, pp 338–345 | Cite as

Detection in situ and characterization of lignin in the G-layer of tension wood fibres of Populus deltoides

  • Jean-Paul Joseleau
  • Takanori Imai
  • Katsushi Kuroda
  • Katia Ruel
Original Article

Abstract

The occurrence of lignin in the additional gelatinous (G-) layer that differentiates in the secondary wall of hardwoods during tension wood formation has long been debated. In the present work, the ultrastructural distribution of lignin in the cell walls of normal and tension wood fibres from poplar (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marshall) was investigated by transmission electron microscopy using cryo-fixation–freeze-substitution in association with immunogold probes directed against typical structural motifs of lignin. The specificity of the immunological probes for condensed and non-condensed guaiacyl and syringyl interunit linkages of lignin, and their high sensitivity, allowed detection of lignin epitopes of definite chemical structures in the G-layer of tension wood fibres. Semi-quantitative distribution of the corresponding epitopes revealed the abundance of syringyl units in the G-layer. Predominating non-condensed lignin sub-structures appeared to be embedded in the crystalline cellulose matrix prevailing in the G-layer. The endwise mode of polymerization that is known to lead to these types of lignin structures appears consistent with such an organized cellulose environment. Immunochemical labelling provides the first visualization in planta of lignin structures within the G-layer of tension wood. The patterns of distribution of syringyl epitopes indicate that syringyl lignin is deposited more intensely in the later phase of fibre secondary wall assembly. The data also illustrate that syringyl lignin synthesis in tension wood fibres is under specific spatial and temporal regulation targeted differentially throughout cell wall layers.

Keywords

G-layer Lignin Lignin immunolabelling Populus Syringyl unit Tension wood 

Abbreviations

G-layer

Gelatinous layer

G

Guaiacyl monomeric unit

PATAg

Periodic acid–thiocarbohydrazide–silver proteinate

S

Syringyl monomeric unit

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Guillaume Chantre (AFOCELL, Nungis, France) for the gift of the sample of poplar, clone Raspalje. Some of the results were acquired in the framework of European program AIR 3 CT 94-2065.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Paul Joseleau
    • 1
  • Takanori Imai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katsushi Kuroda
    • 1
    • 3
  • Katia Ruel
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche sur les Macromolécules VégétalesCERMAV-CNRSGrenoble Cedex 9France
  2. 2.School of Bioagricultural SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.National Institute of Agrobiological SciencesIbarakiJapan

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