A new mutant E. ulmoides with red xylem is found, and this red color will gradually metabolize over time. Comparisons of chemical properties and metabolites of xylem between the mutant and wild type were analyzed in this study in order to discover the cause of the red mutation. The results showed that the acid-insoluble lignin content of mutant type was about 13.83% higher than that of wild type, but the crude protein of wild type was almost 2 times of mutant type. Meanwhile, 6 most important amino acids and amino acid derivatives were detected, which had significant correlation with crude protein. Additionally, the contents of organic acids, polyphenols and alkaloids in the mutant type were 243%, 316% and 281% of those in the wild type, respectively, while the contents of flavonoids and phenolamines contents were 78.8% and 27.3% of those in the wild type, respectively. These results will provide an important reference for understanding the wood color variation during growing.
Author: Hongyan Du
Chinese Academy of Forestry, China