Mechanical stress and lignification

Tony Travis ajt at
Wed Apr 1 13:55:52 EST 1992

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.


    Tony Travis <ajt at>  | Dr. A.J.Travis 
                                      | Rowett Research Institute,
                                      | Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen,
                                      | AB2 9SB. UK. tel 0224-712751

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