, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 125-140

Suberized tyloses in trees: An ultrastructural and cytochemical study

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The nature of the wall layers observed in suberized tyloses was studied in Populus basalmifera L., Ulmus americana L. and Quercus rubra L. As the suberin layers were present only in tyloses that had completed their expansion, most of the results concern mature tyloses. The cyto- and immunocytochemical tests were conducted, respectively, with an exoglucanase having a binding affinity for β(1→4)-D-glucans, the subunits of cellulose, and with two monoclonal antibodies specific for un-esterified and esterified pectic molecules. In the three species, labelling for pectic compounds was intense over the external layer of tyloses but usually more dispersed or nearly absent over the layer corresponding to a primary wall that was, however, intensely labelled for β(1→4)-D-glucans. The outer wall layer, comparable to a middle lamella in mature tyloses, was continuous with similar material that appeared to be secreted by the tylosis. This material was particularly abundant in pit chambers, in void spaces between the tylosis and the vessel wall, particularly at the junction of the vessel and two adjacent cells, and close to the rim of vessel perforation plates. In P. balsamifera, a single suberized layer or occasionally a succession of suberized and cellulose-containing layers was observed internal to the tylosis primary wall. In U. americana, the wall of tylosis was similar to that of P. balsamifera except that, at times, a secondary-wall-like layer was formed and only a single suberized layer was observed. In Q. rubra, the suberized layer was always observed internal to the tylosis secondary wall. Simple pits were also constantly noted in Q. rubra tyloses. The occasional occurrence of a cellulosic layer internally to the suberized layer was observed in the three species. Histochemical tests revealed that lignin was also an important component of the tylosis wall. The tyloses frequently contained phenolic compounds in close association with the suberized layers. The significance of the formation of suberized tyloses in trees is discussed.

The authors wish to thank Claude Moffet (Canadian Forest Service-Quebec Region (CFS-QR)) for his technical assistance during photographic work. We also express our gratitude to Pamela Cheers (CFS-QR) and Dr. Pierre-Mathieu Charest (Université Lavai, Sainte-Foy, Quebec) for their helpful comments during the preparation of this manuscript.