A band of cells closest to the cambium in the xylem of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Samsun) stems oxidized 2,2-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline-6-sulphonate) (ABTS), o-dianisidine and syringaldazine in the absence of exogenously added hydrogen peroxide. The oxidation was not prevented by catalase which suggests that the oxidation is not dependent on the production and utilisation of endogenous hydrogen peroxide by cell-wall peroxidases. Cell walls, isolated from tobacco xylem, also oxidized these substrates in the absence of added hydrogen peroxide. The cell walls consumed molecular oxygen whilst oxidizing a range of compounds including coniferyl alcohol. The substrate preference and sensitivity to inhibitors suggest the presence of laccasetype polyphenol oxidases (p-diphenol:O2 oxidoreductase EC 126.96.36.199) which are covalently bound to the wall. The oxidation of coniferyl alcohol by the xylem cell walls was confirmed by assays based on the disappearance of coniferyl alcohol and was not affected by the presence of 500 units·mi-1 catalase or Superoxide dismutase. Prolonged incubation of cell walls with coniferyl alcohol led to the production of a yellow-orange water-insoluble material that precipitated with the cell walls. Although a proportion of this material was soluble in methanol, the majority was tightly associated with the cell walls. These coloured cell walls had elevated lignin contents when assayed by the acetyl-bromide method. Fourier transforminfrared spectroscopic analysis of the coloured cell walls indicated that the increased lignin content is due to the deposition of guaiacyl-type lignin. Digestion of the xylem cell walls with Driselase, a mixture of fungal glycases, produced a wall residue that had a dramatically reduced ability to oxidize ABTS in the absence of added H2O2. However, oxidase activity could not be detected in the Driselase-solubilized extract, although small amounts of oxidase activity could be recovered from the Driselaseresistant wall residue by extraction in 3 M CaCl2.
- cell wall