Mechanical stress and lignification

Mike Folsom mwfolsom at
Wed Apr 1 20:32:57 EST 1992

In article <1992Apr1.185552.27565 at> ajt at (Tony Travis) writes:
>The botanists/plant physiologists seem to have gone to sleep now we are
>waiting for a vote!
>I only received one e-mail response to my question about the responses
>of plants to mechanical stress ...
>I'm interested in factors affecting the resistance of crop varieties to
>'lodging' damage and I wondered if anyone knows if mechanical stress
>can, itself, lead to lignification?  I know about 'stress' wood in
>trees but don't know if more subtle changes occur in response to
>mechanical stress such as the load from wind blowing on a canopy.
>What I want to know is do plants adapt to mechanical stress by
>lignification of their cell walls in a similar way to water stress. 
>Lignification can be a method of maintaining turgor when the plant is
>under water stress (by reducing the plasticity of the wall).  It would
>also help to prevent the stem from buckling and yielding to lodging
>damage under mechanical stress.

Such a heavy question for April's fool day -  

Oh well, since you insist - 

Have you buzzed through the plant defense literature?  Seems 
to me that lignification is one of the mechanisms plants use 
to defend against pathogens.  Now how different is this from the     
production of lignin in response to mechanical stress?  I seem to 
remember that people who do research in the area of plant 
defense mechanisms often use mechanical techniques, e.g. 
sandpaper, grinding powerders, etc, to induce plant responses.  
I guess I'm wondering if the same techniques used to analyze 
plant defense responses could be applied to the questions   
which interest you.

Are we on the same wavelength?

If not - sorry - its been a long day -

Prehaps I should try this again tomorrow!


Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.
                                                 -- Vice President Dan Quayle
M.W.Folsom/Biology/UNM/Albuqueerque,NM87131/505.277.4228/mwfolsom at


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