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Free amino acid content in trunk, branches and branchlets of Araucaria angustifolia (Araucariaceae)

Hackbarth, Crizane, Soffiatti, Patrícia, Zanette, Flávio, Floh, Eny Iochevet Segal, Macedo, Amanda Ferreira, Laureano, Henrique Aparecido
Journal of forestry research 2018 v.29 no.6 pp. 1489-1496
Araucaria angustifolia, asparagine, aspartic acid, biochemical mechanisms, branches, dimorphism, free amino acids, freeze drying, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, high performance liquid chromatography, tryptophan, vegetative propagation
Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) O. Kuntze exhibits dimorphism in its stem structure, where the trunk is orthotropic and branches and branchlets (primary and secondary branches) are plagiotropic. These stems exhibit different behavior when used for vegetative propagation, and only segments of trunk can form a complete plant. The physiological and biochemical mechanisms that characterize these stems are still little known. The aim of this study was to describe the free amino acid profiles in trunks, branches, and branchlets of A. angustifolia. Segments of 5 cm in length were excised from young individuals below the stem apex. The needles were removed and samples were frozen and lyophilized. The determinations were made by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the results were expressed as µg/g fresh weight (FW). The trunks and branches had the highest content of total amino acids, which were 112.23 ± 20.57 µg/g FW and 111.97 ± 27.78 µg/g FW, respectively. The amino acids—glutamine, aspartate and γ-aminobutyric acid and tyrosine—were noticeably higher in the three types of stems. In the trunk, a higher amount of asparagine and tryptophan, was also detected. Glutamic acid and glutamine were found in higher quantities in the branches. The branchlets had very low total amino acid content (30.79 ± 4.19 µg/g FW), wherein asparagine is the only amino acid not detected. Thus, it was observed that the profile of the free amino acid differs among trunks, branches, and branchlets in A. angustifolia, indicating that they perform different functions.