Abstract Detail


Price, David [1], Parsons, Cameron [1], Dole, Mackenzie [1], Li, Jianhua [2].

Do Trees and Shrubs Differ in Lignification? A Case Study on Hazelnuts.

The continuing increase of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere largely due to fossil use and loss of vegetation to development has been causing global warming, one of the most pressing issues people are facing across the world. Biological sequestration of atmospheric carbon is a logical and sustainable approach to reducing carbon and countering climatic change. Lignins are the second most abundant natural organic compound but have made up the majority of carbon storage (e.g., coal) during the Earth’s geological history due to strong resistance to decomposition. Biologically, lignins maintain the integrity of the cell wall, strengthening plant structure and resisting damages from herbivores and microbes. Lignification involving two dozen genes differs across major plant groups such as ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Lignin production is the highest in woody plants (trees and shrubs). However, little is known whether lignification differs between trees and shrubs, and whether carbon sequestration capacity varies among trees and shrubs that are close relatives. In this study, we use hazelnut (Corylus), an important nut crop in the world, to address the questions. Fresh twigs of the first year growth were collected, sterilized, and oven-dried to constant mass. Protein-free wall material was prepared from milled and lysed twig samples. Lignin was extracted using 25% acetyl bromide and quantified using a spectrophotometer at the wavelength of 280 nm. Our preliminary data show that lignin content may not change significantly across species or over the evolutionary history of Corylus, indicating that plants have set aside energy to maintain the integrity of the cell wall for their continuing survival in various environments.

1 - Hope College, 35 E 12th St., Holland, MI, 49423, United States
2 - Hope College, Biology, 35 E 12th Street, Holland, MI, 49423, United States

Acetyl Bromide
Morphological disparity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EPH3010
Abstract ID:803
Candidate for Awards:None

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