Aspen Bibliography


Benzoic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and the Role of Black Galls on Aspen in Protection Against Decay

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Canadian Journal of Forest Research





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Trembling aspen (Populustremuloides Michx.) bearing certain types of black galls have a lower incidence of Phellinustremulae (Bond.) Bond. & Boriss. heartwood rot than do nongall-bearing trees. Extraction of finely ground black gall tissue with ethyl acetate and separation of the acidic components of the extract led to the isolation of benzoic acid, trans-cinnamic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, p-hydroxycinnamic acid, naringenin, 7′-methyl-3-hydroxynaringen, aromadendrin, and taxifolin. Bioassays revealed that among these compounds, only benzoic acid showed significant activity against P. tremulae. An analytical procedure was developed to measure the concentration of benzoic acid in various types of aspen tissue. Tissue from the black galls showed a high concentration of benzoic acid, and tissue from gall-bearing trees contained significantly more benzoic acid than healthy nongalled trees. However, the amount of benzoic acid present in the gall-bearing trees may not be sufficient to prevent Phellinus decay. It is suggested that perhaps the benzoic acid serves as a precursor of salicylic acid, a signal molecule in systemic acquired resistance of plants.