Research & Teaching Faculty

Default Header Image

Nanotubules on plant surfaces: Chemical composition of epicuticular wax crystals on needles of Taxus baccata L

TitleNanotubules on plant surfaces: Chemical composition of epicuticular wax crystals on needles of Taxus baccata L
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsWen, M, Buschhaus, C, Jetter, R
JournalPhytochemistry
Volume67
Pagination1808-1817
Date PublishedAug
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0031-9422
Keywordscomposition, CUTICULAR WAX, IN-VITRO RECONSTITUTION, LEAF CUTICULAR WAXES, LEAVES, SECONDARY ALCOHOLS, SURFACE, Taxaceae, Taxus baccata, yew needles
Abstract

Needles of Taxus baccata L. were covered with tubular epicuticular wax crystals varying in diameters (100 and 250 nm) and lengths (300-500 and 500-1000 nm) on the abaxial and adaxial surfaces, respectively. Various sampling protocols were employed to study the chemical composition of the needle waxes on three different levels of spatial resolution. First, a dipping extraction of whole needles yielded the total cuticular wax mixture consisting of very long chain fatty acids (21%), alkanediols (19%), phenyl esters (15%), and secondary alcohols (9%) together with small amounts of aldehydes, primary alcohols, alkanes, alkyl esters, and tocopherols. Second, waxes from both sides of the needle were sampled separately by brushing with CHCl3-soaked fabric glass. Both sides showed very similar qualitative composition, but differed drastically in quantitative aspects, with nonacosan-10-ol (18%) and alkanediols (33%) dominating the abaxial and adaxial waxes, respectively. Third, the epi- and intracuticular wax layers were selectively sampled by a combination of mechanical wax removal and brushing extraction. This provided direct evidence that the tubular wax crystals contained high percentages of nonacosane-4,10-diol and nonacosane-5,10-diol on the abaxial surface, and nonacosan-10-ol on the adaxial surface of the needles. Together with these compounds, relatively large amounts of fatty acids and smaller percentages of aldehydes, primary alcohols, alkyl esters, and alkanes co-crystallized in the epicuticular layer. In comparison, the intracuticular wax consisted of higher portions of cyclic constituents and aliphatics with relatively high polarity. The formation of the tubular crystals is discussed as a spontaneous physicochemical process, involving the establishment of gradients between the epi- and intracuticular wax layers and local phase separation. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

URL<Go to ISI>://000240966900015