Journal Article

Role of flavanols in yellowing beech trees of the Black Forest

W. Feucht, D. Treutter and E. Christ

in Tree Physiology

Volume 17, issue 5, pages 335-340
Published in print May 1997 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online May 1997 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Role of flavanols in yellowing beech trees of the Black Forest

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Beech leaves were sampled at the end of a prolonged hot dry period at a tree decline site in the Black Forest, Germany to investigate the potential role of flavanols in defense mechanisms against environmental stress. Green and yellowing leaves were harvested from the uppermost canopy of trees that were more than 200 years old and 30 m high. Yellowing leaves had a 7.4-fold higher concentration of total flavanols than green leaves. Green leaves contained flavanol inclusions, but during yellowing the inclusions disintegrated and the cells became filled with flavanols. Abscisic acid (ABA) stimulated the release of flavanols from intravacuolar inclusions of leaf petioles and flower pedicels. In addition, ABA caused flavanols to leach from the trichomes of beech galls. The antioxidative potential of leaf extracts, as estimated by indoleacetic acid (IAA) oxidation, was significantly higher in yellowing leaves than in green leaves. In vitro experiments revealed that (+)-catechin promoted growth of beech tissue.

Keywords: abscisic acid; catechins; histology; leaf yellowing; tree decline

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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