Branch junctions and the flow of water through xylem in Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine stems.
Water flowing through the xylem from the roots to the leaves of most plants must pass through junctions where branches have developed from the main stem. These junctions have been studied as both flow constrictions and components of a hydraulic segmentation mechanism to protect the main axes of the plant. The hydraulic nature of the branch junction also affects the degree to which branches interact and can respond to changes in flow to other branches. The junctions from shoots of two conifer species were studied, with particular emphasis on the coupling between the downstream branches. Flow was observed qualitatively by forcing stain through the junctions and the resulting patterns showed that flow into a branch was confined to just part of the subtending xylem until a considerable distance below the junction. Junctions were studied quantitatively by measuring flow rates in a branch before and after flow was stopped in an adjacent branch and by measuring the hydraulic resistance of the components of the junction. Following flow stoppage in the adjacent branch, flow into the remaining branch increased, but considerably less than predicted based on a simple resistance analogue for the branch junction that assumes the two branches are fully coupled. The branches downstream from a junction, therefore, appear to be limited in their interconnectedness and hence in their ability to interact. (+info)
Ethanol synthesis and aerobic respiration in the laboratory by leader segments of Douglas-fir seedlings from winter and spring.
Stem segments from terminal leaders of Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, seedlings were sampled in mid-December when cambial cells were dormant. The residual, debudded leaders were resampled again in early May when the cambium was metabolically active. May stems had higher constitutive ethanol concentrations than December stems. This was not the result of cambial hypoxia generated by rapid spring respiration rates, because when aerobic respiration was stimulated by incubating the stems in air at 30 degrees C ethanol production was induced in December, but not in May. Rapid respiration rates at 30 degrees C may have depleted O(2) supplies and induced ethanol production in December stems because dormant, thick-walled cambial cells may be less permeable to CO(2) and O(2), compared with metabolically active, thin-walled cambial cells in May. December stem segments incubated in a N(2) atmosphere at 30 degrees C synthesized 1.8 times more ethanol than segments from May, most likely because spring growth had reduced the soluble sugars available for fermentation. CO(2) efflux from May stems (after 5.5 h of incubation at 30 degrees C) was equal to December stems per unit volume, but greater than December stems per unit surface area. N(2)-induced ethanol concentrations were positively related with CO(2) efflux per unit volume, indicating that rapidly respiring leaders can maintain rapid fermentation rates, provided soluble sugars are readily available. N(2)-induced ethanol and CO(2) efflux per unit volume declined with increasing leader diameter in both seasons, whereas there were no relationships between CO(2) efflux per unit surface area and diameter. Cambium physiology and phenology influence the induction of fermentation and concentrations of ethanol produced in terminal leaders of Douglas-fir, and probably other conifers as well. This needs to be considered when comparing fermentation among species, or comparing individuals from different seasons, or disparate ages within a species. (+info)
Methyl jasmonate-induced ethylene production is responsible for conifer phloem defense responses and reprogramming of stem cambial zone for traumatic resin duct formation.
Conifer stem pest resistance includes constitutive defenses that discourage invasion and inducible defenses, including phenolic and terpenoid resin synthesis. Recently, methyl jasmonate (MJ) was shown to induce conifer resin and phenolic defenses; however, it is not known if MJ is the direct effector or if there is a downstream signal. Exogenous applications of MJ, methyl salicylate, and ethylene were used to assess inducible defense signaling mechanisms in conifer stems. MJ and ethylene but not methyl salicylate caused enhanced phenolic synthesis in polyphenolic parenchyma cells, early sclereid lignification, and reprogramming of the cambial zone to form traumatic resin ducts in Pseudotsuga menziesii and Sequoiadendron giganteum. Similar responses in internodes above and below treated internodes indicate transport of a signal giving a systemic response. Studies focusing on P. menziesii showed MJ induced ethylene production earlier and 77-fold higher than wounding. Ethylene production was also induced in internodes above the MJ-treated internode. Pretreatment of P. menziesii stems with the ethylene response inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene inhibited MJ and wound responses. Wounding increased 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase protein, but MJ treatment produced a higher and more rapid ACC oxidase increase. ACC oxidase was most abundant in ray parenchyma cells, followed by cambial zone cells and resin duct epithelia. The data show these MJ-induced defense responses are mediated by ethylene. The cambial zone xylem mother cells are reprogrammed to differentiate into resin-secreting epithelial cells by an MJ-induced ethylene burst, whereas polyphenolic parenchyma cells are activated to increase polyphenol production. The results also indicate a central role of ray parenchyma in ethylene-induced defense. (+info)
Multinucleate storage cells in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco) and the effect of seed parasitism by the chalcid Megastigmus spermotrophus Wachtl.
Megagametophytes of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco) accumulated storage products following fertilization. As megagametophytes matured, the number of nuclei per cell rose, resulting in syncytial storage cells. Studies carried out on trees in France and Canada confirmed that such previously unreported, free nuclear cells were a normal part of late megagametophyte development. Unfertilized megagametophytes showed that some binucleate cells before degeneration resulted in empty seed. Insect parasitism prevented megagametophyte abortion in unfertilized ovules. Oviposition by a torymid chalcid wasp (Megastigmus spermotrophus Wachtl) early in megagametophyte development resulted in normal megagametophyte development. Around the time of plant egg maturation, binucleate and trinucleate cells were observed. As megagametophytes matured, multinucleate mature storage cells rich in proteins, lipids and starch were formed. The insect was able to induce identical nuclear behaviour in infested, unfertilized megagametophytes, as that of uninfested, fertilized megagametophytes. (+info)
Seed parasitism redirects ovule development in Douglas fir.
Many parasitic species of insects complete their entire development in seeds. They feed off storage reserves within the ovule. These reserves only normally accumulate in fertilized ovules. Consequently, female insects that oviposit their eggs directly into the plant ovule need to be able to select correctly, as unfertilized ovules of conifers normally become so-called empty seed. We provide clear evidence that in conifers, seed-parasitizing insects do not need to discriminate between fertilized and unfertilized plant ovules when ovipositing their eggs. A host-specific insect, the chalcid Megastigmus spermotrophus Wachtl (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), lays its eggs in ovules of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco) before fertilization has taken place in the plant. Oviposition not only prevents the expected degeneration and death of unfertilized ovules, but it induces energy reserve accumulation. Ovules that would otherwise develop as empty seed are redirected in their development by the insect to provide food for the developing larvae. Instead of the insect exploiting normal events during seed development, the insect manipulates seed development for its own reproductive advantage. (+info)
Storage versus substrate limitation to bole respiratory potential in two coniferous tree species of contrasting sapwood width.
Two coniferous tree species of contrasting sapwood width (Pinus ponderosa L., ponderosa pine and Pseudotsuga menziesii Mirb., Douglas-fir) were compared to determine whether bole respiratory potential was correlated with available storage space in ray parenchyma cells and/or respiratory substrate concentration of tissues (total nitrogen content, N; and total non-structural carbohydrate content, TNC). An increment core-based, laboratory method under controlled temperature was used to measure tissue-level respiration (termed respiratory potential) from multiple positions in mature boles (>100-years-old). The most significant tissue-level differences that occurred were that N and TNC were two to six times higher for inner bark than sapwood, TNC was about two times higher in ponderosa pine than Douglas-fir and there was significant seasonal variation in TNC. Ray cell abundance was not correlated with sapwood respiratory potential, whereas N and TNC often were, implying that respiratory potential tended to be more limited by substrate than storage space. When scaled from cores to whole boles (excluding branches), potential net CO2 efflux correlated positively with live bole volume (inner bark plus sapwood), live bole ray volume, N mass, and TNC mass (adjusted R2 > or =0.4). This relationship did not differ between species for N mass, but did for live bole volume, live bole ray volume, and TNC mass. Therefore, N mass appeared to be a good predictor of bole respiratory potential. The differences in net CO2 efflux between the species were largely explained by the species' relative amounts of whole-bole storage space or substrate mass. For example, ponderosa pine's inner bark was thinner than Douglas-fir's, which had the greater concentration of ray cells and TNC compared with the sapwood. This resulted in ponderosa pine boles having 30-60% less ray volume and 10-30% less TNC mass, and caused ponderosa pine net CO2 efflux/ray volume and net CO2 efflux/TNC mass to be 20-50% higher than Douglas-fir. In addition, because inner bark respiratory potential was 2-25 times higher than that of sapwood, ponderosa pine's thinner inner bark and deeper sapwood (relative to Douglas-fir) caused its bole net CO2 efflux/live bole volume to be 20-25% lower than that of similarly-sized Douglas-fir trees. (+info)
Nucleotide diversity and linkage disequilibrium in cold-hardiness- and wood quality-related candidate genes in Douglas fir.
Nuclear sequence variation and linkage disequilibrium (LD) were studied in 15 cold-hardiness- and 3 wood quality-related candidate genes in Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco]. This set of genes was selected on the basis of its function in other plants and collocation with cold-hardiness-related quantitative trait loci (QTL). The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery panel represented 24 different trees from six regions in Washington and Oregon plus parents of a segregating population used in the QTL study. The frequency of SNPs was one SNP per 46 bp across coding and noncoding regions on average. Haplotype and nucleotide diversities were also moderately high with H(d) = 0.827 +/- 0.043 and pi = 0.00655 +/- 0.00082 on average, respectively. The nonsynonymous (replacement) nucleotide substitutions were almost five times less frequent than synonymous ones and substitutions in noncoding regions. LD decayed relatively slowly but steadily within genes. Haploblock analysis was used to define haplotype tag SNPs (htSNPs). These data will help to select SNPs for association mapping, which is already in progress. (+info)
Genecology of Douglas fir in western Oregon and Washington.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Genecological knowledge is important for understanding evolutionary processes and for managing genetic resources. Previous studies of coastal Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) have been inconclusive with respect to geographical patterns of variation, due in part to limited sample intensity and geographical and climatic representation. This study describes and maps patterns of genetic variation in adaptive traits in coastal Douglas fir in western Oregon and Washington, USA. METHODS: Traits of growth, phenology and partitioning were measured in seedlings of 1338 parents from 1048 locations grown in common gardens. Relations between traits and environments of seed sources were explored using regressions and canonical correlation analysis. Maps of genetic variation as related to the environment were developed using a geographical information system (GIS). KEY RESULTS: Populations differed considerably for adaptive traits, in particular for bud phenology and emergence. Variation in bud-set, emergence and growth was strongly related to elevation and cool-season temperatures. Variation in bud-burst and partitioning to stem diameter versus height was related to latitude and summer drought. Seedlings from the east side of the Washington Cascades were considerably smaller, set bud later and burst bud earlier than populations from the west side. CONCLUSIONS: Winter temperatures and frost dates are of overriding importance to the adaptation of Douglas fir to Pacific Northwest environments. Summer drought is of less importance. Maps generated using canonical correlation analysis and GIS allow easy visualization of a complex array of traits as related to a complex array of environments. The composite traits derived from canonical correlation analysis show two different patterns of variation associated with different gradients of cool-season temperatures and summer drought. The difference in growth and phenology between the westside and eastside Washington Cascades is hypothesized to be a consequence of the presence of interior variety (P. menziessii var. glauca) on the eastside. (+info)