, Volume 239, Issue 1, pp 243–254 | Cite as

Deposition and organisation of cell wall polymers during maturation of poplar tension wood by FTIR microspectroscopy

  • Shan-Shan ChangEmail author
  • Lennart Salmén
  • Anne-Mari Olsson
  • Bruno Clair
Original Article


To advance our understanding of the formation of tension wood, we investigated the macromolecular arrangement in cell walls by Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (FTIR) during maturation of tension wood in poplar (Populus tremula x P. alba, clone INRA 717-1B4). The relation between changes in composition and the deposition of the G-layer in tension wood was analysed. Polarised FTIR measurements indicated that in tension wood, already before G-layer formation, a more ordered structure of carbohydrates at an angle more parallel to the fibre axis exists. This was clearly different from the behaviour of opposite wood. With the formation of the S2 layer in opposite wood and the G-layer in tension wood, the orientation signals from the amorphous carbohydrates like hemicelluloses and pectins were different between opposite wood and tension wood. For tension wood, the orientation for these bands remains the same all along the cell wall maturation process, probably reflecting a continued deposition of xyloglucan or xylan, with an orientation different to that in the S2 wall throughout the whole process. In tension wood, the lignin was more highly oriented in the S2 layer than in opposite wood.


FTIR microscopy Maturation Orientation Polarisation Polymers Populus tremula x P. alba Tension wood 



Charge-coupled device


Fourier transform infrared


Gelatinous layer


Intensity absorbance




Mercury cadmium telluride


Opposite wood




Relative absorbance


Relative orientation absorbance


Secondary cell wall layer, first layer


Secondary cell wall layer, middle layer


Secondary cell wall layer, third layer




Tension wood





This work was supported by COST Action FP0802 through the Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) funding for Shan Shan Chang. Shan Shan Chang benefits a fellowship from the Scientific Council of Montpellier University. Lennart Salmén received support from the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC). The authors wish to thank Gilles Pilate and Françoise Laurans (AGPF, Genobois technical platform, INRA Orleans, France) for providing the wood samples and for making the stained sections presented in Fig. 1, Jasna Stevanic Srndovic and Joanna Hornatowska (Innventia Stockholm, Sweden) for their assistance during FTIR experiment. Thanks are also extended to Cécile Barron (INRA Montpellier, France) and Antonio Pizzi (ENSTIB-LERMAB Epinal, France) for critical discussions. Part of this work was performed in the framework of the project “StressInTrees” funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR-12-BS09-0004).


  1. Agarwal UP, Atalla RH (1986) In-situ Raman microprobe studies of plant cell walls: macromolecular organization and compositional variability in the secondary wall of Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P. Planta 169:325–332PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baba K, Park YW, Kaku T, Kaida R, Takeuchi M, Yoshida M, Hosoo Y, Ojio Y, Okuyama T, Taniguchi T, Ohmiya Y, Kondo T, Shani Z, Shoseyov O, Awano T, Serada S, Norioka N, Norioka S, Hayashi T (2009) Xyloglucan for generating tensile stress to bend tree stem. Mol Plant 2:893–903PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowling AJ, Vaughn KC (2008) Immunocytochemical characterization of tension wood: gelatinous fibers contain more than just cellulose. Am J Bot 95:655–663PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cosgrove DJ, Jarvis MC (2012) Comparative structure and biomechanics of plant primary and secondary cell walls. Front Plant Sci 3:204. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00204 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Faix O (1991) Classification of lignins from different botanical origins by FTIR spectroscopy. Holzforschung 45:21–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fellah A, Anjukandi P, Waterland MR, Williams MAK (2009) Determining the degree of methylesterification of pectin by ATR/FT-IR: methodology optimisation and comparison with theoretical calculations. Carbohydr Polym 78:847–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fisher JB, Stevenson JW (1981) Occurence of reaction wood in branches of dicotyledons and its role in tree architecture. Bot Gaz 142:82–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gierlinger N, Schwanninger M (2006) Chemical imaging of poplar wood cell walls by confocal Raman microscopy. Plant Physiol 140:1246–1254PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Joseleau JP, Imai T, Kuroda K, Ruel K (2004) Detection in situ and characterization of lignin in the G-layer of tension wood fibres of Populus deltoids. Planta 219:338–345PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kaku T, Serada S, Baba K, Tanaka F, Hayashi T (2009) Proteomic analysis of the G-layer in poplar tension wood. J Wood Sci 55:250–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kataoka Y, Kondo T (1998) FT-IR microscopic analysis of changing cellulose crystalline structure during wood cell wall formation. Macromolecules 31:760–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kim JS, Daniel G (2012) Distribution of glucomannans and xylans in poplar xylem and their changes under tension stress. Planta 236:35–50PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liang CY, Marchessault RH (1959) Infrared spectra of crystalline polysaccharides II. Native celluloses in the region from 640–1,700 cm−1. J Polym Sci 39:269–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liang CY, Bassett KH, McGinnes EA, Marchessault RH (1960) Infrared spectra of crystalline polysaccharides. Tappi J 43:1017–1024Google Scholar
  15. Marchessault RH (1962) Application of infra-red spectroscopy to cellulose and wood polysaccharides. Pure Appl Chem 5:107–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Marchessault RH, Liang CY (1962) The infrared spectra of crystalline polysaccharides VIII. Xylans. J Polym Sci Pol Chem 59:357–378Google Scholar
  17. Mellerowicz EJ, Gorshkova TA (2012) Tensional stress generation in gelatinous fibres: a review and possible mechanism based on cell-wall structure and composition. J Exp Bot 63:551–565PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mellerowicz EJ, Immerzeel P, Hayashi T (2008) Xyloglucan: the molecular muscle of trees. Ann Bot-London 102:659–665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nishikubo N, Awano T, Banasiak A, Bourquin V, Ibatullin F, Funada R, Brumer H, Teeri T, Hayashi T, Sundberg B, Mellerowicz EJ (2007) Xyloglucan endotransglycosylase (XET) functions in gelatinous layers of tension wood fibers in poplar: a glimpse into the mechanism of the balancing act of trees. Plant Cell Physiol 48:843–855PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Norberg PH, Meier H (1966) Physical and chemical properties of gelatinous layer in tension wood fibers of aspen (Populus tremula L.). Holzforschung 20:174–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Olsson AM, Bjurhager I, Gerber L, Sundberg B, Salmén L (2011) Ultra-structural organization of cell wall polymers in normal and tension wood of aspen revealed by polarization FTIR microspectroscopy. Planta 233:1277–1286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pilate G, Chabbert B, Cathala B, Yoshinaga A, Leplé JC, Laurans F, Lapierre C, Ruel K (2004) Lignification and tension wood. C R Biol 327:889–901PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Salmén L, Burgert I (2009) Cell wall features with regard to mechanical performance COST Action E35: wood machining–micromechanics and fracture. Holzforschung 63:121–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Salmén L, Olsson A-M, Stevanic J, Simonović J, Radotić K (2012) Structural organisation of the wood polymers in the wood fibre structure. Bioresources 7:521–532Google Scholar
  25. Stevanic J, Salmén L (2009) Orientation of the wood polymers in the cell wall of spruce wood fibres. Holzforschung 63:497–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Synytsya A, Copikova J, Matejka P, Machovic V (2003) Fourier transform Raman and infrared spectroscopy of pectins. Carbohydr Polym 54:97–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Timell TE (1986) Compression wood in gymnosperms. Springer, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Vodenicarova M, Drimalova G, Hromadkova Z, Malovikova A, Ebringerova A (2006) Xyloglucan degradation using different radiation sources: a comparative study. Ultrasonics Sonochem 13:157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wardrop AB (1964) The reaction anatomy of arborescent angiosperms. In: Zimmermann MH (ed) The formation of wood in forest tree. Academic Press, New York, pp 405–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wardrop AB, Dadswell HE (1955) The nature of reaction wood IV. Variations in cell wall organization of tension wood fibres. Aust J Bot 3:177–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yoshinaga A, Kusumoto H, Laurans F, Pilate G, Takabe K (2012) Lignification in poplar tension wood lignified cell wall layers. Tree Physiol 32:1129–1136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shan-Shan Chang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lennart Salmén
    • 2
  • Anne-Mari Olsson
    • 2
  • Bruno Clair
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Mécanique et Génie Civil (LMGC)Université Montpellier 2, CNRSMontpellier Cedex 5France
  2. 2.Innventia ABStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations