COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PHOTOCHEMICAL AND ENZYMATIC POLYMER OF
Ksenija Radotic1 and Milorad Jeremic2
1Center for Multidisciplinary Studies, University
of Belgrade, POB 373, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia
2Faculty of Physical Chemistry, University of Belgrade, POB 137,
11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Lignin is the second abundant polymer on the Earth, and it has constitutive and functional
role in the plant cell walls. Free-radical polymerization of phenolic alcohols (coniferyl,
p-coumaryl, synapyl alcohols), catalyzed by peroxidases, is adopted as the way of
lignin synthesis in the cell walls.
Light has regulatory effect upon the developmental processes in the cells of all plant
organs, even in roots. The cell wall is the first target place of light action in the
cell. It has been recently found that short-wavelength UV light penetrates through the
epidermal cell layer of the conifer needles into the mesophyl tissue1. It was
shown before the ability of roots and seedlings to pipe light as light guides, almost
without losses. Recently, many studies have shown the presence of the UV light receptor in
the plant tissue1,2, moreover the receptor has not been yet identified.
In this work we studied the structure of a polymer synthesized by UV-irradiation of
coniferyl alcohol and compared its structure with the structure of polymer obtained by
peroxidase-catalyzed polymerization of coniferyl alcohol. This study may be primarily of
ecological importance, since the UV radiation increases in particular regions of the Earth
surface, due to the depletion of the ozone layer3.