Document Detail

Chemical composition of the Prunus laurocerasus leaf surface. Dynamic changes of the epicuticular wax film during leaf development.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11500570     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The seasonal development of adaxial Prunus laurocerasus leaf surfaces was studied using newly developed methods for the mechanical removal of epicuticular waxes. During epidermal cell expansion, more than 50 microg leaf(-1) of alkyl acetates accumulated within 10 d, forming an epicuticular wax film approximately 30 nm thick. Then, alcohols dominated for 18 d of leaf development, before alkanes accumulated in an epicuticular wax film with steadily increasing thickness (approximately 60 nm after 60 d), accompanied by small amounts of fatty acids, aldehydes, and alkyl esters. In contrast, the intracuticular waxes stayed fairly constant during development, being dominated by triterpenoids that could not be detected in the epicuticular waxes. The accumulation rates of all cuticular components are indicative for spontaneous segregation of intra- and epicuticular fractions during diffusional transport within the cuticle. This is the first report quantifying the loss of individual compound classes (acetates and alcohols) from the epicuticular wax mixture. Experiments with isolated epicuticular films showed that neither chemical conversion within the epicuticular film nor erosion/evaporation of wax constituents could account for this effect. Instead, transport of epicuticular compounds back into the tissue seems likely. Possible ecological and physiological functions of the coordinate changes in the composition of the plant surface layers are discussed.
R Jetter; S Schäffer
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Plant physiology     Volume:  126     ISSN:  0032-0889     ISO Abbreviation:  Plant Physiol.     Publication Date:  2001 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-13     Completed Date:  2001-10-11     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401224     Medline TA:  Plant Physiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1725-37     Citation Subset:  IM    
Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Botanik II, Universität Würzburg, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 3, D-97082 Würzburg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Transport
Cell Division
Fatty Acids / chemistry,  metabolism
Plant Epidermis / chemistry*,  growth & development,  ultrastructure
Plant Leaves / chemistry*,  growth & development,  ultrastructure
Rosales / chemistry*,  ultrastructure
Tissue Embedding
Waxes / chemistry,  metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids; 0/Waxes

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