1887

Abstract

[U-C]Phenylalanine was injected into spring barley plants during 140 d growth. Autoradiography of the plants revealed that, apart from high concentrations around the injection sites, radioactivity was evenly distributed throughout the plants. [C]Lignin lignocellulose was prepared from plants cropped at 30, 58, 82 and 140 d after sowing, using organic and aqueous solvents followed by enzymic hydrolysis with commercial protease and polysaccharidase preparations. Weight loss due to solvent and enzymic treatments was greatest in the youngest plants, resulting in a preparation of [C]lignocellulose of specific activity 2-8-fold higher than preparations from more mature plants. When subjected to crude preparations of extracellular protein from either or the substrate derived from the youngest plants (30 d) was particularly susceptible to solubilization of lignocellulose by polysaccharidases. Substrates prepared from plants after 58 d growth (i.e. fully grown) showed significant levels of lignocellulose solubilization that were not due to the action of polysaccharidases. When used in similar assays the oldest crops (82 and 140 d) were solubilized at very low levels. The desirability of using fully grown plants as substrates in lignin solubilization and biodegradation studies is clearly demonstrated.

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1990-02-01
2021-10-16
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