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Development of plant cuticles: fine structure and cutin composition of Clivia miniata Reg. leaves

Markus Riederer and Jörg Schönherr
Planta
Vol. 174, No. 1 (1988), pp. 127-138
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23379235
Page Count: 12
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Development of plant cuticles: fine structure and cutin composition of Clivia miniata Reg. leaves
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Abstract

The fine structure and monomeric composition of the ester-cutin fraction (susceptible to BF3/CH3OH transesterification) of the adaxial leaf cuticle of Clivia miniata Reg. were studied in relation to leaf and cuticle development. Clivia leaves grow at their base such that cuticle and tissues increase in age from the base to the tip. The zone of maximum growth (cell expansion) was located between 1 and 4 cm from the base. During cell expansion, the projected surface area of the upper epidermal cells increased by a factor of nine. In the growth region the cuticle consists mainly of a polylamellate cuticle proper of 100—250 nm thickness. After cell expansion has ceased both the outer epidermal wall and the cuticle increase in thickness. Thickening of the cuticle is accomplished by interposition of a cuticular layer between the cuticle proper and the cell wall. The cuticular layer exhibits a reticulate fine structure and contributes most of the total mass of the cuticle at positions above 6 cm from the leaf base. The composition of ester cutin changed with the age of cuticles. In depolymerisates from young cuticles, 26 different monomers could be detected whereas in older ones their number decreased to 13. At all developmental stages, 9,16—/10,16-dihydroxyhexadecanoic acid (positional isomers not separated), 18-hydroxy-9-octadecenoic acid, 9,10,18-trihydroxyoctadecanoic acid and 9,10-epoxy-18-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid were most frequent with the epoxy alkanoic acid clearly predominating (47% at 16 cm). The results are discussed as to (i) the age dependence of cutin composition, (ii) the relationship between fine structure and composition, (iii) the composition of the cuticle proper, the cuticular layer and the non-depolymerizable cutin fraction, and (iv) the polymeric structure of cutin.

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