Cell wall thickening in developing tension wood of artificially bent poplar trees

Abstract : Trees can control their shape and resist gravity thanks to their ability to produce wood under tensile stress. This stress is known to be produced during the maturation of wood fibres but the mechanism of its generation remains unclear. This study focuses on the formation of the secondary wall in tension wood produced in artificially tilted poplar saplings. Thickness of secondary wall layer (SL) and gelatinous layer (GL) were measured from cambium to mature wood in several trees sampled at different times after tilting. Measurements on wood fibres produced before tilting show the progressive increase of secondary wall thickness during the growing season. After the tilting date, SL thickness decreased markedly from normal wood to tension wood while the total thickness increased compared to normal wood, with the development of a thick GL. However, even after GL formation, SL thickness continues to increase during the growing season. GL thickening was observed to be faster than SL thickening. The development of the unlignified GL is proposed to be a low cost, efficient strategy for a fast generation of tensile stress in broadleaved trees.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2015 - 2:20:09 PM
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Raoufeh Abedini, Bruno Clair, Kambiz Pourtahmasi, Françoise Laurans, Olivier Arnould. Cell wall thickening in developing tension wood of artificially bent poplar trees. IAWA journal / International Association of Wood Anatomists., 2015, 36 (1), pp.44-57. ⟨10.1163/22941932-00000084⟩. ⟨hal-01229277⟩



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