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Ascorbic acid and development of xylem and phloem cells in the pine trunk

Antonova, G. F., Stasova, V. V., Varaksina, T. N.
Russian journal of plant physiology 2009 v.56 no.2 pp. 190-199
Pinus sylvestris, ascorbic acid, cambium, cell differentiation, cell growth, dehydroascorbic acid, lignification, phloem, tracheids, trees, uronic acids, wood
Changes in the levels of ascorbic acid (AA), its oxidized form, dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), and uronic acids as initial precursors for the AA synthesis were studied as related to the degree of xylem and phloem cell development in the course of early and late wood formation in the trunks of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The cells of mature and conducting phloem, cambial zone, differently developed cells in the zones of cell enlargement and maturation were obtained by successive scraping tissue layers from trunk segments of 20-25-year-old trees; tissue identification was checked anatomically and histochemically. The contents of compounds tested were calculated per dry weight and per cell basis. We found great differences in the contents of AA and DHA and also in their ratio in dependence of the wood type developing in the pine trunks during growth period and on the stage of differentiation of xylem and phloem cells. Changes in the AA content during xylem cell differentiation were accompanied by changes in the content of uronic acids. The amounts of AA, DHA, and uronic acids were the highest at the stage of early lignification and reduced with tracheid maturation. The AA to DHA ratio changed differently in the course of early and late xylem lignification. It reduced from the start of lignification to the formation of early mature xylem and, in contrast, increased in mature late wood; this indicates a difference in the level of redox processes in these tissues.