Cambial activity in the young branches and peduncles of couroupita guianensis (lecythidaceae)

in IAWA Journal
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Peduncles of Couroupita guianensis Aubl. undergo extensive secondary growth, which is a rare and unexplored feature so far. In the present investigation seasonal behaviour of vascular cambium was studied in fruit-bearing peduncles and compared with the vegetative branches of similar diameter. In peduncles, the cambium remained active throughout the year. The number of cambium cells and differentiating xylem cells increased from May and reached a maximum in July-August. Although cambial growth occurred throughout the year, it was relatively sluggish in February despite the development of new leaves and ongoing extension growth. In contrast, cambial cell division in young branches initiated in February, peaked in the same months as peduncle cambium while cambial cell division and differentiation of xylem remained suspended from October to January. Cessation of cambial cell division in the branches during this period may be correlated with the presence of mature leaves. In both (branches and peduncle), rapid cell division and increase in the number of differentiating xylem elements in April-May is positively correlated with the development of flower buds and new leaves. The present anatomical investigation revealed that cambial activity in both peduncle and vegetative branches are independent of phenology and climatic conditions. In conclusion, we believe that variations in the number of differentiating cambium derivatives in peduncles benefits from a dual source of growth hormone supply, i.e. from developing new leaves and flower buds.

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