, Volume 225, Issue 3, pp 771–779 | Cite as

Microchemical analysis of laser-microdissected stone cells of Norway spruce by cryogenic nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

  • Sheng-Hong Li
  • Bernd SchneiderEmail author
  • Jonathan GershenzonEmail author
Original Article


Stone cells (sclereids) in Norway spruce (Picea abies) bark have been reported to be highly lignified tissues that are important in physical defence against bark beetle invasion. Microchemical analyses of the low-molecular weight compounds in the stone cells of Norway spruce were carried out using laser microdissection in combination with cryogenic nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry (LMD/NMR/MS). Two phenolic compounds, the stilbene astringin and the dihydroflavonol dihydroxyquercetin 3′-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, were identified indicating that stone cells are more than just repositories for lignin. Both of these compounds were also found to be present in other phloem tissue at a higher level than in the stone cells based on quantification by cryogenic 1H NMR. Our results suggest that stone cells may be involved in chemical as well as physical defense against bark beetles and their associated microorganisms. This paper reports on the identification of secondary plant metabolites from a single laser-microdissected population of plant cells offering a sensitive new way to determine the chemical profile of specific plant cell types with a high degree of precision.


Stone cells Sclereids Norway spruce Picea Pinaceae Phenolics Laser microdissection Cryogenic NMR MS 



Laser microdissection


Proton nuclear magnetic resonance


Proton–proton correlated spectroscopy


Mass spectrometry


High performance liquid chromatography


Thin layer chromatography


Heteronuclear single quantum correlation



We thank T. Krekling (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) for help in the identification of stone cells and D. Hölscher for valuable discussions and expert advise in the use of LMD. The research was supported by a research fellowship from Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation to S.-H. Li and funds from the Max Planck Society.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, and Research Group Biosynthesis/NMRMax Planck Institute for Chemical EcologyJenaGermany

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