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Plants 2018, 7(1), 14; doi:10.3390/plants7010014

Dimensional Changes of Tracheids during Drying of Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) Compression Woods: A Study Using Variable-Pressure Scanning Electron Microscopy (VP-SEM)

1
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2
School of Chemical Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
3
Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
4
Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Dynamics in Plant Growth and Stress Response)
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Abstract

Variable-pressure scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate the dimensional changes in longitudinal, tangential and radial directions, on wetting and drying, of tracheids of opposite wood (OW) and three grades of compression woods (CWs), including severe CW (SCW) and two grades of mild compression wood (MCW) (MCW1 and MCW2) in corewood of radiata pine (Pinus radiata) saplings. The CW was formed on the underside and OW on the upper side of slightly tilted stems. In the longitudinal direction, the shrinkage of SCW tracheids was ~300% greater than that of OW tracheids, with the shrinkage of the MCW1 and MCW2 tracheids being intermediate. Longitudinal swelling was also investigated and hysteresis was demonstrated for the tracheids of all corewood types, with the extent of hysteresis increasing with CW severity. A statistical association was found between longitudinal shrinkage and the content of lignin and galactosyl residues in the cell-wall matrix. The galactosyl residues are present mostly as (1→4)-β-galactans, which are known to have a high capacity for binding water and swell on hydration. The small proportions of (1→3)-β-glucans in the CWs have similar properties. These polysaccharides may play a functional role in the longitudinal shrinking and swelling of CW tracheids. Tangential shrinkage of tracheids was greater than radial shrinkage but both were greatest for OW and least for SCW, with the MCW1 and MCW2 being intermediate. View Full-Text
Keywords: mild compression wood; severe compression wood; shrinkage; swelling; environmental SEM; tracheid cell walls mild compression wood; severe compression wood; shrinkage; swelling; environmental SEM; tracheid cell walls
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, M.; Smith, B.G.; McArdle, B.H.; Chavan, R.R.; James, B.J.; Harris, P.J. Dimensional Changes of Tracheids during Drying of Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) Compression Woods: A Study Using Variable-Pressure Scanning Electron Microscopy (VP-SEM). Plants 2018, 7, 14.

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