Oleoresinosis in Grand Fir (Abies grandis) Saplings and Mature Trees' Modulation of this Wound Response by Light and Water Stresses
The stem content of diterpene resin acids (rosin) increases dra- matically following wounding of grand fir (Abies grandis) saplings, but the level of monoterpene olefins (turpentine) in the stem decreases following injury, in spite of a significant increase in monoterpene cyclase (synthase) activity. However, this observation was explained when rapid evaporative losses of the volatile mon- oterpenes from the wound site was demonstrated by trapping experiments, a finding consistent with a role of turpentine as a solvent for the mobilization and deposition of rosin to seal the injury. Mature forest trees responded to stem wounding by the enhancement of monoterpene cyclization capacity in a manner similar to 2-year-old grand fir saplings raised in the greenhouse. Light and water stresses greatly reduced the constitutive level of monoterpene cyclase activity and abolished the wound-induced response. The diminution in monoterpene biosynthetic capacity was correlated with a dramatic decrease in cyclase protein as demonstrated by immunoblotting. Relief of stress conditions re- sulted in the restoration of cyclase activity (both constitutive and wound induced) to control levels. The results of these experiments indicate that grand fir saplings are a suitable model for studies of the regulation of defensive oleoresinosis in conifers.