Effects of auxin-transport-inhibitor and defoliation on wood formation in locally-heated Abies homolepis

In: IAWA Journal

ABSTRACT

To understand the precise process of wood formation, it is necessary to identify the factors that regulate cambial activity and development of cambial derivatives. Here, we investigated the combined effects of localized-heating and auxin on cambial reactivation and the formation of earlywood tracheids in seedlings of the evergreen conifer Abies homolepis in winter. Three treatments were applied, namely heating (artificial increase in temperature 20–22 °C), heating-plus-auxin transport inhibitor N-(1-naphthyl) phthalamic acid (NPA) and heating-plus-defoliation (removal of needles and buds), with an approximate control, for investigations of cambial activity by light microscopy. After one week of heating, cambial reactivation occurred in the heating, heating-plus-NPA and heating-plus-defoliation treatments. In untreated controls, cambial reactivation occurred later than in heated stems. Earlywood tracheids were formed after three and six weeks of heating in the heating and heating-plus-NPA treatments, respectively. No tracheids were formed after eight weeks of heating in heated-defoliated seedlings. Numbers of new tracheids were reduced in heated stems by NPA. Our results suggest that an increase in the temperature of the stem is one of the most important limiting factors in cambial reactivation, which is independent of needles and buds and of the polar transport of auxin from apical sources. However, after cambial reactivation, initiation and continuous formation of earlywood tracheids require basipetally transported auxin and other endogenous factors originating in mature needles and buds.

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