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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Patterns of auxin distribution during gravitational induction of reaction wood in poplar and pine

Hellgren JM, Olofsson K, Sundberg B


Gravistimulation of tree stems affects wood development by unilaterally inducing wood with modified properties, called reaction wood. Commonly, it also stimulates cambial growth on the reaction wood side. Numerous experiments involving applications of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) or IAA-transport inhibitors have suggested that reaction wood is induced by a redistribution of IAA around the stem. However, in planta proof for this model is lacking. Therefore, we have mapped endogenous IAA distribution across the cambial region tissues in both aspen (Populus tremula, denoted poplar) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) trees forming reaction wood, using tangential cryosectioning combined with sensitive gas chromatographymass spectrometry analysis. Moreover, we have documented the kinetics of IAA during reaction wood induction in these species. Our analysis of endogenous IAA demonstrates that reaction wood is formed without any obvious alterations in IAA balance. This is in contrast to gravitropic responses in roots and shoots where a redistribution of IAA has been documented. It is also of interest that cambial growth on the tension wood side was stimulated without an increase in IAA. Taken together, our results suggest a role for signals other than IAA in the reaction wood response, or that the gravitational stimulus interacts with the IAA signal transduction pathway

Published in

Plant Physiology
2004, Volume: 135, number: 1, pages: 212-220