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Topochemical investigation on phenolic deposits in the vessels of afzelia (Afzelia spp.) and merbau (Intsia spp.) heartwood

  • Gerald Koch , Hans-Georg Richter and Uwe Schmitt
From the journal


The topochemical distribution of phenolic deposits in the vessels of afzelia (Afzelia spp.) and merbau (Intsia spp.) heartwood was investigated by means of cellular UV microspectrophotometry (UMSP) to characterise the chemical composition and synthesis by pit membrane-associated enzymes. UV absorbance spectra of the deposits attached to the vessel walls of merbau are characterised by a distinct maximum at a wavelength of 368 nm representing the UV absorbance of pure robinetin (C15H10O7). Deposits in the vessels of afzelia display a typical spectrum of kaempferol (C15H10O2) with two distinct maxima at 270 and 350 nm. The pit membranes and pit canals of associated vessel and parenchyma cells are impregnated by these compounds. These results verify the assumption that the synthesis of deposits in afzelia and merbau is regulated by pit membrane-associated enzymes.


Corresponding author. Institute for Wood Biology and Wood Protection, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Leuschnerstr. 91, 21031 Hamburg, Germany


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Published Online: 2006-12-04
Published in Print: 2006-11-01

©2006 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

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