Cesium in Liriodendron and Other Woody Species: Organic Bonding Sites

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Science  24 Jan 1964:
Vol. 143, Issue 3604, pp. 368-369
DOI: 10.1126/science.143.3604.368


In trees labeled with cesium-137, the isotope in the sap streams is primarily in the free ionic form. Much ionic Cs137 also appears to occur in intracellular fluids other than the sap streams. However, a small quantity of Cs137 forms ionic bonds with organic compounds (probably as salts of carboxylic acids). Even though most of the activity appears in the phloem tissue, some activity is dispersed in much of the sapwood and even in the dead xylem tissue of the heartwood. Some of this Cs137 is retained, at least temporarily, by the numerous carboxylic groups of the natural plant compounds of cell walls, cytoplasm of living cells, and cell debris of heartwood.