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, 9 (3), 411-9

Morphology and Biochemistry of Non-Glandular Trichomes in Cistus Salvifolius L. Leaves Growing in Extreme Habitats of the Mediterranean Basin

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Morphology and Biochemistry of Non-Glandular Trichomes in Cistus Salvifolius L. Leaves Growing in Extreme Habitats of the Mediterranean Basin

M Tattini et al. Plant Biol (Stuttg).

Abstract

Here the functional roles of stellate and dendritic trichomes in Cistus salvifolius L leaves were studied by analysing i) both leaf surface and trichome morphology using scanning electron and light microscopy; and ii) the composition and localisation of polyphenols by coupling liquid chromatography with fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence microimaging. Red-coloured compounds were detected in the stalk cells and the channel in the trichome arm, and appeared to be released at the tip end of the trichome branch. We identified such metabolites as ellagitannins, namely punicalagin and two galloyl derivatives of punicalagin. These ellagitannins accounted for 4.3 % of leaf dry weight and their concentration in the leaf leachate averaged 289.4 mg L (-1). The trichome arms exhibited an appreciable orange-red autofluorescence (centred at 620 nm) when excited with UV light (at 365 nm) or emitted in the yellow waveband (peak centred at 566 nm) when stained with the Naturstoff reagent, and excited at 488 nm. The fluorescence signatures of the trichome arms were consistent with the presence of mono-hydroxy B-ring substituted flavonoids, which were identified as the mono- and di-coumaroyl derivative of a kaempferol 3-O-glycoside. Our data may provide some insights on the functional roles of stellate and dendritic trichomes in the response mechanisms of C. salvifolius to Mediterranean-type climate, based upon (i) the potential effect of released ellagitannins on the soil nitrogen dynamic and (ii) the ability of acylated kaempferol 3-O-glycosides to effectively absorb both the UV-B and UV-A wavelengths.

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