Uggla C, Magel E, Moritz T, Sundberg B
Function and dynamics of auxin and carbohydrates during earlywood/latewood transition in scots pine
Plant Physiol: 2001 125:2029-2039
In temperate regions the annual pattern of wood development is characterized by the formation of radially narrow and thick walled latewood cells. This takes place at the later part of the growing season when cambial cell division declines. To gain new insight into the regulation of this process, micro-analytical techniques were used to visualize the distribution of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), soluble carbohydrates, and activities of sucrose (Suc)-metabolizing enzymes across the cambial region tissues in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). The total amount of IAA in the cambial region did not change with latewood initiation. But its radial distribution pattern was altered, resulting in an increased concentration in the cambial meristem and its recent derivatives. Thus, initiation of latewood formation and cessation of cambial cell division is not a consequence of decreased IAA concentrations in dividing and expanding cells. Rather, IAA most likely has a role in defining the altered developmental pattern associated with latewood formation. Carbohydrates and enzyme activities showed distinctive radial distribution patterns. Suc peaked in the phloem and decreased sharply to low levels across the cambial zone, whereas fructose and glucose reached their highest levels in the maturing tracheids. Suc synthase was the dominating Suc cleaving enzyme with a peak in the secondary wall-forming tracheids and in the phloem. Soluble acid invertase peaked in dividing and expanding cells. Suc-phosphate synthase had its highest activities in the phloem. Activities of cell wall bound invertase were low. The absence of major seasonal variations indicates that carbohydrate availability is not a trigger for latewood initiation. However, steep concentration gradients of the sugars suggest a role for sugar signaling in vascular development.