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Lignin characteristics of peculiar vascular plants

Jin, Zhenfu, Shao, Shunliu, Katsumata, Kyoko S., Iiyama, Kenji
Journal of wood science 2007 v.53 no.6 pp. 520-523
Ephedra sinica, Podocarpus macrophyllus, Sarcandra glabra, Trochodendron aralioides, lignin, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, oxidation, ozonation, tracheids, vanillin, vascular plants, xylem vessels
Trochodendron aralioides Sieb. et Zucc. and Chloranthus glaber (Thunb.) Makino [Sarcandra globra (Thunb.) Nakai] belong to primitive angiosperms, and are characterized by the absence of vessels. Ephedra sinica Stapf, which is classified in the gymnosperms, contains vessel elements and fiber together with tracheids. Podocarpus macrophyllus (Thunb. Ex Murray) D. Don var. macrophyllus is reported to give a weak positive Mäule test, although it is classified as a gymnosperm. Podocarpus macrophyllus gave only vanillin on alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation, while E. sinica, T. aralioides, and C. glaber gave both vanillin and syringaldehyde. The molar ratio of syringyl to guaiacyl nuclei (S/V ratio) of C. glaber was significantly low (S/V = 0.08) in comparison with the value for T. aralioides (S/V = 1.56). The erythro form is the predominant diasteromeric form of β-O-4 intermonomer linkages of T. aralioides and E. sinica [molar ratio of erythro to threo forms (E/T ratio): 1.93 and 1.67, respectively]; however, P. macrophyllus and C. glaber lignins, of which S/V ratios were 0 and 0.08, gave approximately equal amounts of erythro and threo forms (E/T ratio: 1.01 and 1.14). Results from ¹H NMR spectroscopy agree well with S/V ratios of alkaline nitrobenzene oxidation and E/T ratios of ozonation products. In conclusion differences in guaiacyl lignin and guaiacyl-syringyl lignin do not exactly reflect taxonomical differences, as reported in previous articles. It was found that guaiacyl-syringyl lignin is not necessarily linked to the presence of vessels.