|WIEDENHOEFT, ALEX - U.S. FOREST SERVICE (FS)|
|AREVALO, RAFAEL - U.S. FOREST SERVICE (FS)|
|JAKES, JOSEPH - U.S. FOREST SERVICE (FS)|
Submitted to: JOM: The Member Journal of TMS
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2016
Publication Date: 8/4/2016
Citation: Wiedenhoeft, A.C., Arevalo, R., Ledbetter, C.A., Jakes, J. 2016. Structure-function characterization of the crinkle-leaf peach wood phenotype: a future model system for wood properties research? JOM: The Member Journal of TMS. 68(9):2405-2412. doi: 10.1007/s11837-016-2057-0.
Interpretive Summary: In a plant breeding program, unexpected mutations are sometimes discovered within a family of plants. Most of these chance mutations are not useful, but occasionally, one is identified that can be put to good use. A leaf mutation called ‘crinkle-leaf’ was discovered in peach that co-segregates with weak, brittle wood, providing a unique research opportunity. Wood samples of wild-type and crinkle-leaf trees were examined in an attempt to identify specific properties that differed between the two types. While wild-type trees had wood with longer vessels and fibers, wider rays, and slightly higher specific gravity, these differences did not fully account for the gross differences in wood strength apparent to workers pruning the trees. This co-segregation provides a unique opportunity to utilize the crinkle-leaf mutation as an observable vegetative marker for altered wood properties. As a model system, crinkle-leaf trees and their wild-type counterparts can be used to examine macroscale wood properties relative to the interactions of various wood component properties, thus providing valuable information on structure-function relationships and assisting in the development of a global predictive model for wood properties based on wood cellular anatomy.
Technical Abstract: Variations in wood features of two genotypes of Prunus persica L. trees, wild-type and crinkle-leaf, were examined to elucidate the nature of weak wood in crinkle-leaf trees. Trees from three vigor classes (low, average, and high) of each genotype were sampled. No meaningful tendency of dissimilarities among the different vigor classes was found, nor any pattern in features in a genotype-by-vigor analysis. Wild-type trees exhibited longer vessels and fibers, wider rays, and slightly higher specific gravity. Neither cell wall mechanical properties measured with nanoindentation nor cell wall histochemcial properties were statistically or observably different between crinkle-leaf and wild-type wood. The crinkle-leaf mutant has the potential to be a useful model system for wood properties investigation and manipulation if it can serve as a field-observable vegetative marker for altered wood properties.