J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2015, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (4): 388-395.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12349

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Cellulose structure and lignin distribution in normal and compression wood of the Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba L.)

Seppo Andersson1*, Yurong Wang2, Raili Pönni3, Tuomas Hänninen4, Marko Mononen1, Haiqing Ren2, Ritva Serimaa1 and Pekka Saranpää5   

  1. 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    2Research Institute of Wood Industry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
    3Department of Forest Products Technology, Aalto University, School of Chemical Technology, Aalto, Finland
    4VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland
    5Natural Resources Institute Finland, Vantaa, Finland


We studied in detail the mean microfibril angle and the width of cellulose crystals from the pith to the bark of a 15-year-old Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba L.). The orientation of cellulose microfibrils with respect to the cell axis and the width and length of cellulose crystallites were determined using X-ray diffraction. Raman microscopy was used to compare the lignin distribution in the cell wall of normal/opposite and compression wood, which was found near the pith. Ginkgo biloba showed a relatively large mean microfibril angle, varying between 19° and 39° in the S2 layer, and the average width of cellulose crystallites was 3.1–3.2 nm. Mild compression wood without any intercellular spaces or helical cavities was observed near the pith. Slit-like bordered pit openings and a heavily lignified S2L layer confirmed the presence of compression wood. Ginkgo biloba showed typical features present in the juvenile wood of conifers. The microfibril angle remained large over the 14 annual rings. The entire stem disc, with a diameter of 18 cm, was considered to consist of juvenile wood. The properties of juvenile and compression wood as well as the cellulose orientation and crystalline width indicate that the wood formation of G. biloba is similar to that of modern conifers.


Andersson S, Wang Y, Pönni R, Hänninen T, Mononen M, Ren H, Serimaa R, Saranpää P (2015) Cellulose structure and lignin distribution in normal and compression wood of the Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba L.). J Integr Plant Biol 57: 388–395 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12349

Key words: Cellulose structure, cell wall, compression wood, lignin, Maidenhair tree, microfibril angle

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