Localization of cell wall polysaccharides in normal and compression wood of radiata pine: relationships with lignification and microfibril orientation.

Research paper by Lloyd A LA Donaldson, J Paul JP Knox

Indexed on: 08 Dec '11Published on: 08 Dec '11Published in: Plant physiology


The distribution of noncellulosic polysaccharides in cell walls of tracheids and xylem parenchyma cells in normal and compression wood of Pinus radiata, was examined to determine the relationships with lignification and cellulose microfibril orientation. Using fluorescence microscopy combined with immunocytochemistry, monoclonal antibodies were used to detect xyloglucan (LM15), β(1,4)-galactan (LM5), heteroxylan (LM10 and LM11), and galactoglucomannan (LM21 and LM22). Lignin and crystalline cellulose were localized on the same sections used for immunocytochemistry by autofluorescence and polarized light microscopy, respectively. Changes in the distribution of noncellulosic polysaccharides between normal and compression wood were associated with changes in lignin distribution. Increased lignification of compression wood secondary walls was associated with novel deposition of β(1,4)-galactan and with reduced amounts of xylan and mannan in the outer S2 (S2L) region of tracheids. Xylan and mannan were detected in all lignified xylem cell types (tracheids, ray tracheids, and thick-walled ray parenchyma) but were not detected in unlignified cell types (thin-walled ray parenchyma and resin canal parenchyma). Mannan was absent from the highly lignified compound middle lamella, but xylan occurred throughout the cell walls of tracheids. Using colocalization measurements, we confirmed that polysaccharides containing galactose, mannose, and xylose have consistent correlations with lignification. Low or unsubstituted xylans were localized in cell wall layers characterized by transverse cellulose microfibril orientation in both normal and compression wood tracheids. Our results support the theory that the assembly of wood cell walls, including lignification and microfibril orientation, may be mediated by changes in the amount and distribution of noncellulosic polysaccharides.