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  • Author or Editor: Shohei Yamagishi x
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In: IAWA Journal


Intervessel pit membranes are recognized as key structures for influencing water flow/embolism resistance. The mechanisms remain largely unclear owing to difficulties in examining them intact in nature. This study investigates ethanol-extractable pit membrane incrustations (PMIs), which were previously reported in certain angiosperms and may affect their water conduction. The presence of PMIs was determined for 40 angiosperms by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). Candidate components of PMIs were determined by chemical analyses of wood extracts, and their distributions in the xylem were examined by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). Cryo-TOF-SIMS and cryo-FE-SEM were also performed to clarify the native distribution of PMIs. PMIs were observed in 11 species. Some of them were categorized as fat trees, which are known to store abundant lipids. Tilia japonica sapwood displaying PMIs contained large amounts of lipids, which were distributed in the dried xylem tissue, consistent with the distribution of the PMIs. In the frozen samples of T. japonica, however, the distributions were restricted to the parenchyma. In conclusion, PMIs consist of an artifactual coating of lipids originated from the parenchyma in dried samples at room temperature. Researchers performing surface analyses of plant cell walls should take strong precautions against such self-coating by these intrinsic chemicals.

In: IAWA Journal