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Solitary or groups of two to three sieve elements were found in the rays of the secondary phloem of Tamarindus indica L., Melia azedarach L., Gmelina arborea Roxb., Bombax ceiba L., Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre, Sterculia urens Roxb., and Thespesia populnea (L.) Correa trees. These elements were similar in length while slightly larger in diameter than ray parenchyma cells, and possessed a simple plate on their transverse to slightly oblique end walls. Like axial sieve elements, the ray sieve elements were associated with single companion cells at their corners. When functional, they also exhibited slime plugs and cytoplasmic strands, like axial sieve elements. Non-functional ray sieve elements exhibited massive accumulation of callose on sieve plates, followed by collapse and obliteration. The distribution pattern of the elements differed among the species studied. Usually they developed from the marginal ray parenchyma cells, but they were also found in the central part of the rays. Structural details and their possible significance are discussed.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The wood fibres retain their living protoplast in eleven species of five genera of the Combretaceae. Among the species studied, those of Anogeissus and Terminalia are trees while those of Calycopteris, Combretum and Quisqualis are large scandent shrubs. Living fibres with oval to oblong or fusiform shaped nuclei were found among all the species but their occurrence is more persistent in trees than in scandent species. The fibres are septate, thick-walled with narrow lumen and possess slitlike simple pits. In Combretum ovalifolium prismatic crystals frequently co-occur with the nucleus in the same compartment of the fibres. The possible significance of living fibres is discussed.

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In: IAWA Journal

Seasonal behaviour of vascular cambium in Tectona grandis L. f. growing in Moist Deciduous Forests (MDF) and Dry Deciduous Forests (DDF) of Gujarat State in Western India was studied for one annual cycle. In both the forests active cambial cell division and simultaneous differentiation of xylem and phloem started in June when the dormant shoot buds opened. In MDF cambial cell activity reached its peak in August-September and ceased in October; in DDF it ceased in November after reaching a peak in July-August. Maximum radial growth in trees of both forests occurred during the monsoon period. In both forests, phloem differentiation ceased before xylem differentiation. During dry months and the leafless periods the cambium remained dormant. Xylem mother cells next to the mature xylem in MDF underwent differentiation into xylem elements following the onset of periclinal divisions in March. In both forests, the seasonal anatomical changes associated with the cambium closely followed the phenology of the tree and local climatic conditions.

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In: IAWA Journal

Solitary sieve elements or groups of sieve elements were encountered in the rays of secondary phloem of Erythrina indica, Guazuma tomentosa, Acacia nilotica, Azadirachta indica, and Tectona grandis trees. These elements were short and possessed simple and compound sieve plates on their transverse to slightly oblique end walls. Each sieve tube element was associated with a single companion cell at their comers. Like axial sieve tube elements, the sieve tube elements of the rays showed slime (P-protein) plugs and cytoplasmic strands when functional and massive deposition of callose on sieve plates in nonfunctional sieve tube elements. The distribution pattern of these ray sieve elements differed among the species studied. The detailed structure and possible significance of these elements are discussed.

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In: IAWA Journal

Development of cambial variant and xylem structure were studied in the stem of Cocculus hirsutus (Menispermaceae). In the early stages of stem development several collateral vascular bundles are joined by interfascicular cambium resulting in the formation of a complete cambial cylinder. After functioning for two to three years the cambial ring ceases its activity. Subsequently a second ring of cambium is formed from the innermost cortical parenchyma cells. These parenchyma cells undergo periclinal divisions to give rise to cells that become lignified, abaxially, and cambial cells, adaxially. The cambial cells divide periclinally giving rise to individual vascular bundles with xylem and phloem. Later the cambium in each bundle is joined by interfascicular cambium. Subsequent cambia develop similarly resulting in the formation of successive rings of xylem and phloem. During the leafless condition, all the cambial rings are dormant, and flanked by mature xylem and phloem elements. With the sprouting of new leaves, either the existing outermost cambium reactivates or an entire new ring of cambium develops. The xylem is diffuseporous with indistinct growth rings. It is composed of fibre-tracheids, tracheids, vessel elements, libriform fibres, and parenchyma cells. Xylem rays are multiseriate, compound and heterocellular. Deformed libriform fibres and vessel elements commonly occur among the ray cells in all the successive rings of xylem. The length of fibres and the height and width of xylem rays increase gradually from the centre towards the periphery of the stem.

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In: IAWA Journal

Secondary growth in Achyranthes aspera, Alternanthera polygamous, A. pungens, A. sessilis, and A. triandra was achieved by the development of a cambial variant resulting in successive rings of xylem and phloem. Each new cambium was developed at a distance about two to three cells external to the phloem produced by the previous cambium. The development of phloem was not synchronous in the species studied. Phloem development started either simultaneously with xylem or after the formation of a few xylem derivatives. In Achyranthes, xylem production started first followed by the development of phloem. Phloem mother cells differentiated into sieve tube elements, companion cells and axial parenchyma. Xylem was storied and exclusively composed of axial elements. Radial elements were absent in all the xylem rings of the stem. Vessels were angular and mostly solitary, but radial and tangential multiples were also observed occasionally. Xylem fibres were nonseptate and nucleated. Development of phloem and the rayless nature of the xylem is discussed.

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In: IAWA Journal

Successive cambia are often associated with the climbing or shrub habit, and is less common in trees. We studied formation of successive cambia and structure of secondary xylem in young stems of Cocculus laurifolius DC., a tree species of Menispermaceae. Cell division in the vascular cambium ceased in pencil-thick stems. Subsequently, parenchyma cells located outside the perivascular fibre cap re-differentiated and gave rise to several small segments of meristematic cells, of which the central cells divided repeatedly to initiate the first successive cambium which produces secondary xylem centripetally and phloem centrifugally. Cells located on the inner side of the newly initiated cambium differentiated into conjunctive tissue while cells on the outer side of it divided further and differentiated into sclereids. Xylem was diffuse porous and composed of vessels, fibre tracheids and ray parenchyma cells, and only differed in vessel diameter from wide-vessel climbing relatives.

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In: IAWA Journal

The stem anatomy of Passiflora edulis, P. foetida, P. suberosa, P. subpeltata, and P. vesicaria was studied in samples collected in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa) and Baroda (Vadodara, Gujarat State, India). Radial stem growth in all the species is realized by a single, bidirectional vascular cambium. However, unequal activity in small segments of the cambial cylinder results in a lobed stem outline in P. foetida var. ellisonii, and a furrowed xylem cylinder in P. edulis f. edulis and P. vesicaria var. vesicaria. In P. subpeltata and P. edulis f. flavicarpa the xylem remains cylindrical in outline. In all the species investigated, secondary xylem is diffuse-porous with growth rings indistinct or absent. In transverse view, vessels are round to oval with different diameter categories, including very narrow fibriform vessels intermixed. In P. edulis f. edulis, stems are lobed due to the unidirectional activity of the cambium in small segments. Rays are mostly both narrow (1–3-seriate) and wide (multiseriate). The latter often become aggregate at some distance from the pith.

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In: IAWA Journal

Seasonal cambial activity and xylem anatomy were studied in Prosopis spicigera Linn. (Mimosaceae) growing under the influence of combined air pollutants. Cambial cell division and differentiation of secondary xylem began in April, reached a peak in July–August and ceased in October in trees (normal) growing in a relatively unpolluted locality. In contrast, in trees (affected) growing near a fertilizer complex, the initiation of cambial activity was delayed by one month and the cambium ceased to divide in September. Considerable variations were noticed in the structure and arrangement of xylem derivatives between affected and normal trees. The vessel lumen diameter was reduced and vessel frequency was significantly higher in the affected trees. Axial parenchyma was aliform to confluent in normal trees compared to mainly vasicentric parenchyma with heavy accumulation of tannin contents in affected trees. Cambial activity and xylem development did not show any correlation with the phenology of affected trees.

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In: IAWA Journal

Structural variations in cambium, xylem and phloem collected from main trunks of Sterculia colorata, S. alata, S. villosa, S. urens and S. foetida growing in the South Dangs forests were studied. In all five species, the cambium was storied with variations in the length of fusiform cambial cells. Compared to other species S. foetida had the longest and S. urens the shortest fusiform cambial cells. Cambial rays in all the species were compound (tall) and heterocellular with sheath cells. Their height and width were maximal in S. foetida and in S. villosa respectively. In all the species the storied nature of fusiform cambial cells was maintained in derivative cells that developed into sieve tube elements; vessel elements and axial parenchyma of both phloem and xylem. However, fibres of phloem and xylem were nonstoried. The dimensions of elements in phloem and xylem varied among the species. The variation in the mean length of sieve tube elements and vessel members coincided with that of fusiform cambial cells.

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In: IAWA Journal