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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Distribution of glucomannans and xylans in poplar xylem and their changes under tension stress

Kim JS, Daniel G


Present work investigated glucomannan (GM) and xylan distribution in poplar xylem cells of normal- (NW), opposite- (OW) and tension wood (TW) with immunolocalization methods. GM labeling was mostly detected in the middle- and inner S-2 (+S-3) layer of NW and OW fibers, while xylan labeling was observed in the whole secondary cell wall. GM labeling in vessels of NW and OW was much weaker than in fibers and mostly detected in the S-2 layer, whereas slightly stronger xylan labeling than fibers was detected in the whole secondary cell wall of vessels. Ray cells in NW and OW showed no GM labeling, but strong xylan labeling. These results indicate that GMs and xylans are spatially distributed in poplar xylem cells with different concentrations present in different cell types. Surprisingly, TW showed significant decrease of GM labeling in the normal secondary cell wall of gelatinous (G) fibers compared to NW and OW, while xylan labeling was almost identical indicating that the GM and xylan synthetic pathways in fibers have different reaction mechanisms against tension stress. Unlike fibers, no notable changes in GM labeling were detected in vessels of TW, suggesting that GM synthesis in vessels may not be affected by tension stress. GM and xylan was also detected in the G-layer with slightly stronger and much weaker labeling than the normal secondary cell wall of G-fibers. Differences in GM and xylan distribution are also discussed for the same functional cells found in hardwoods and softwoods.


Gelatinous layer; Glucomannan; Opposite wood; Poplar; Tension wood; Xylan

Published in

2012, Volume: 236, number: 1, pages: 35-50

      SLU Authors

    • Kim, Jongsik

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Daniel, Geoffrey

        • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Wood Science
      Forest Science

      Publication Identifiers


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