Distribution of lignin and its coniferyl alcohol and coniferyl aldehyde groups in Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris as observed by Raman imaging.

PMID 21632083


Wood cell wall consists of several structural components, such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, whose concentrations vary throughout the cell wall. It is a composite where semicrystalline cellulose fibrils, acting as reinforcement, are bound together by amorphous hemicelluloses and lignin matrix. Understanding the distribution of these components and their functions within the cell wall can provide useful information on the biosynthesis of trees. Raman imaging enables us to study chemistry of cell wall without altering the structure by staining the sample or fractionating it. Raman imaging has been used to analyze distributions of lignin and cellulose, as well as the functional groups of lignin in wood. In our study, we observed the distribution of cellulose and lignin, as well as the amount of coniferyl alcohol and aldehyde groups compared to the total amount of lignin in pine (Pinus sylvestris) and spruce (Picea abies) wood samples. No significant differences could be seen in lignin and cellulose distribution between these samples, while clear distinction was observed in the distribution of coniferyl alcohols and coniferyl aldehyde in them. These results could provide valuable insight on how two similar wood species control biosynthesis of lignin differently during the differentiation of cell wall.

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Coniferyl alcohol, 98%