Distribution and Seasonal Variation of Wood Peroxidase Activity in Oak (<i>Quercus Robur</i>)


  • R. Ebermann
  • K. Stich


Peroxidase distribution, seasonal variation, <i>Quercus robur</i>, oak


The distribution of peroxidase activity and the water and nitrogen content within the cross section of an oak trunk (Quercus robur) were measured. After a sharp decline in the outer sapwood, an increase of the peroxidase activity in the inner part of sapwood could be detected. This increase was followed by a sharp fall of the activity in the heartwood. In the inner part of the heartwood only small activity could be found. The quantitative data reported in this paper give for the first time strong evidence that peroxidase enzymes are involved in heartwood formation. The results support the findings of other authors that an increased enzymatic activity exists in the zone adjacent to the sapwood/heartwood junction.

In addition the seasonal variation of peroxidase activity in the zone mentioned above was studied. A maximum of activity could be observed during the dormant season. The results indicate that heartwood formation in Quercus robur occurs mainly during this period.


Cowling E. B., and W. Merrill. 1966. Nitrogen in wood and its role in wood deterioration. Can. J. Bot.44:1539-1554.nDietrichs, H. H. 1964. Chemisch-physiologische Untersuchungen über die Splint-Kern-Umwand-lung der Rotbuche (Fagus sylvatica Linn). Bundesforsch. Anst. für Forst- u. Holzwirtschaft. Mitt.58:86-87.nEbermann, R., and K. Stich. 1982. Peroxidase and amylase isoenzymes in the sapwood and heartwood of trees. Phytochem.21:2401-2402.nGaspar, Th., C. Penel, T. Thorpe, and H. Greppin. 1982. Pages 25-33 in Peroxidases 1970-1980. Université de Genève Centre de Botanique, Genève.nGebhart, K., P. P. S. Schmid, and W. Feucht. 1982. Isoenzymes of IAA oxidase and peroxidase in tissues of various Prunus species. Gartenbauwissenschaft47:265-269.nHarkin, J. M., and J. R. Obst. 1973. Lignification in trees: Indication of exclusive peroxidase participation. Science180:296-298.nHillis, W. E. 1977. Secondary changes in wood, Recent Adv. Phytochem.11:247-309.nHöll, W. 1972. Stärke and Stärkeenzyme im Holz von Robinia pseudoacacia L. Holzforschung26:41-45.nJaeger-Wunderer, M. 1980. Activities of peroxidases, polyphenoloxidase and IAA oxidases during cell differentiation in Riella helicophylla (Bory et Mont.). Mont. Z. Pflanzenphysiol.98:189-201.nMerrill, W., and E. B. Cowling. 1966. Role of nitrogen in wood deterioration: Amounts and distribution of nitrogen in tree stems. Can. J. Bot.44:1555-1580.nNakamura, W. 1967a. Studies on the biosynthesis of lignin. I. Disproof against the catalytic activity of laccase in the oxidation of coniferylalcohol. J. Biochem.62:54-61.nNakamura, W. 1966. Studies on the biosynthesis of lignin. II. Purification and properties from bamboo shoot. J. Biochem.62:308-314.nNelson, N. D. 1978. Xylem ethylene, phenol-oxidizing enzymes, and nitrogen and heartwood formation in walnut and cherry. Can. J. Bot.56:626-634.nShain, L., and J. F. G. MacKay. 1973. Seasonal fluctuation in respiration of aging xylem in relation to heartwood formation in Pinus radiata.Can. J. Bot.51:737-741.nStich, K. 1983. Biochemie der Lignifizierung. Ph.D. thesis, Univ. of Agriculture, Vienna, Austria.nStich, K., and R. Ebermann. 1984. Peroxidase und Polyphenoloxidaseisoenzyme im Splint- und Kernholz der Eiche. Holzforschung38:239-242.nWardrop, A. B., and J. Cronshaw. 1962. Formation of phenolic substances in the ray parenchyma of angiosperms. Nature193:90-92.nWorthington Biochemical Corporation. 1972. Peroxidase (horseradish). Pages 43-45 in Worthington enzyme manual. Worthington Biochemical Corp., Freehold, NJ.nZiegler, H. 1968. Biological aspects of the heartwood formation. Holz Roh- Werkst.26:61-68.n






Research Contributions