Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Science Magazine features PNAS journal article - featured cover

Science Magazine featured a recently published journal article in the January 27th 2012 edition in the editor’s choice section.  The PNAS journal article titled “A polymer of caffeyl alcohol in plant seeds” captured the work of the identification of a lignin that is constructed from an unusual subunit, the catechyl (C) monolignol caffeyl alcohol.  The lignins in the black coats of seeds within the vanilla bean are entirely composed of these catechyl subunits. Other portions of the vanilla plant—the seed pod, stem, and leaves— instead contain the more standard sort of lignin, without the C subunit. A similarly high content of C-lignin was also found in seed coats of several cactus species, seeds that, like the vanilla seeds, carried black coats. Thus, there is greater natural diversity in these sturdy polymers than previously appreciated.

The PNAS journal article was features as the cover art for the January 31st edition.

Chen, F., Y. Tobimatsu, et al. (2012). "A polymer of caffeyl alcohol in plant seed”, PNAS, 109, 10.

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