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Demonstration of a strict molecular oxygen requirement of yellow latex oxidation in the central Amazon canopy tree muiratinga (Maquira sclerophylla (Ducke) C.C. Berg)

  • Author(s): Piva, LRO
  • Jardine, KJ
  • Cobello, LO
  • Gimenez, BO
  • Durgante, FM
  • Higuchi, N
  • Chambers, JQ
  • et al.
Abstract

Plant-derived latex is widely used in rubber production and plays important roles in ecological processes in the tropics. Although it is known that latex oxidation from the commercially important tree Hevea brasiliensis, results in latex browning, little is known about latex oxidation in highly diverse tropical ecosystems. Here we show that upon physical trunk damage, yellow latex released from the canopy tree Muiratinga (Maquira sclerophylla (Ducke) C.C. Berg) is rapidly and extensively oxidized to a black resin in the presence of air within 15-30 min. In a nitrogen atmosphere, latex oxidation was inhibited, but was immediately activated upon exposure to air. The results suggest the occurrence of O2-dependent oxidative enzymes including polyphenol oxidase (PPO) within the latex of Muiratinga and supports previous findings of a key role of oxidation during latex coagulation.

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