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Abstract Detail

Developmental and Structural Section

Kitin, Peter [2], Lachenbruch, Barbara [1], Beeckman, Hans [2].

Variations of xylem fiber morphology and function in angiosperms.

This research aimed to clarify several features in xylem fibers (the three-dimensional (3-D) morphology and ultrastructure of pits in fiber walls, and water movement in different cell types.
The International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA) Committee (1989) defines categories of imperforate tracheary elements (ITE) on the basis of features viewed in the light microscope, such as cell wall thickness, pit frequency in radial and tangential walls, association with vessels, and diameter of the pit chamber. The definitions by the IAWA Committee are strictly morphological and they are widely used in databases for computerized wood identification. Partly in contrast, Carlquist (2001) also relied on the light microscope, but he included function (mechanical or water-conductive) in his definitions of ITE, where the function was inferred from both morphology and location of the cell with respect to other cell types. We analyzed morphology and structure of ITE pits using a microcasting method that allows for precise measurement of the 3-D characteristics of the cell lumen, and the pit chamber, pit canal, and membrane. Using these characteristics we could better infer the conductivity and water storage capacity of individual cells. We also used dye-flow experiments and light cryo-microscopy to study conductive or water-storing function of ITE.
This research will contribute to further understanding of the functional specialization of ITE and the evolution of wood, and will also help with the description of woods for various fields, including wood science, taxonomy, and paleobotany.

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1 - Dept. of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA
2 - Royal Museum for Central Africa, Laboratory for Wood Biology and Xylarium, Leuvensesteenweg 13, Tervuren, 3080, Belgium

imperforate tracheary element
xylem structure and function.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 27
Location: Ballroom 3/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: 27009
Abstract ID:497