Biosynthesis of Two Dilignol Rhamnosides in Leaves of Thuja Plicata Donn

Gary D. Manners, Eric P. Swan


One of a series of dilignol glycosides previously isolated from western red cedar leaves has now been identified as 2, 3-dihydro-7-hydroxy-2- (4'-hydroxy-3'methoxyphenyl)-3-hydroxymethyl-5-benzofuran-propan-3"-0-α-L-rhamnopyranoside. In an experiment to determine biosynthesis rate, cut western red cedar leaves took up 37% radioactive phenylalanine (label) after 10 h. The newly identified compound took 3 h to reach a maximum uptake of label of 0.4%. A previously identified dilignol glycoside reached a maximum uptake of 0.3% in the same period. Both glycosides in leaves were rapidly anabolized, therefore, and since their label decreased after 5 h, they were precursors to other unknown compounds. The possible role of these glycosides in wound response or leaf lignin formation is considered.


<i>Thuja plicata</i>;biosynthesis;anabolism;dilignols;phenyl propane;dimers;lignification;glycosides;leaves;needles

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