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Am J Bot. 2008 Dec;95(12):1498-505. doi: 10.3732/ajb.0800061. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Wound-induced vascular occlusions in Vitis vinifera (Vitaceae): Tyloses in summer and gels in winter1.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481.


Vascular occlusion in xylem conduits is a common response to environmental stresses, and plant species are recognized as primarily tylose-forming or gel-forming. These stresses occur throughout the year, but there is little information on the wound responses throughout the year and in growing and dormant tissues. Wound-induced vascular occlusions were evaluated by type (tylose or gel), temporal progress, and spatial distribution for grape stems pruned in four seasons through an entire year. Tyloses were formed predominantly in summer and gels in winter. Cytohistological analyses indicated that wound-induced gels were pectin-rich. Both gel formation and tylose development were complete within 7 d and 10 mm from the cut regardless of the season of the wounding. Most vessels were affected by wounding, but a higher fraction of vessels developed occlusions in summer and autumn (over 80%) than in winter and spring (about 60%). The study is the first to show a single species is capable of producing primarily either tyloses or gels and that the type of wound-induced occlusion is dependent upon the season in which wounding occurs. Winter conditions limit the wound response to reversible gel formation that may contribute to refilling of embolized vessels in the spring.

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