Lignification in developing culms of bamboo Sinobambusa tootsik
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Bamboos are among the largest woody grasses and grow very rapidly. Although lignin is a crucial factor for the utilization of bamboo biomass, the lignification mechanism of bamboo shoots is poorly understood. We studied lignification in the bamboo Sinobambusa tootsik during culm development. Elongation growth began in May and ended in late-June, when the lignin content was approximately half that in mature culms. Thioacidolysis analysis indicated that p-hydroxyphenyl units in lignin formed even at late stages of lignification. The syringyl/guaiacyl ratio varied during culm development. Various lignin precursors were detected in developing culms by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. The ferulic acid content decreased from May to June, indicating that ferulic acid was utilized in early stages of cell wall formation. Monolignol glucosides were detected at early stages of lignification, whereas the contents of monolignols, coniferaldehyde, sinapaldehyde, p-coumaric acid, and ferulic acid peaked at later stages of lignification. Therefore, lignin precursors may be supplied differentially during the lignification process. In August, the rate of lignification decreased, although the contents of various lignin precursors peaked, implying that the rate-limiting step in the cessation of lignification in bamboo is transport or polymerization of lignin precursors, rather than their biosynthesis.
KeywordsBamboo Development p-Hydroxyphenyl unit Lignin precursor Transport
We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Noritsugu Terashima, Nagoya University, for the gift of coniferin and syringin; Dr. Kentaro Sakai and Dr. Tomoko Matsumoto, University of Miyazaki, for technical support with LC–MS analysis; and Dr. Takuya Tetsumura, University of Miyazaki, for generous assistance with cryosectioning.
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