, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 23-30

Response of xylem parenchyma by suberization in some hardwoods after mechanical injury

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Summary

Wound responses of xylem parenchyma by suberization were investigated in some hardwoods by light and electron microscopy. Suberized ray and axial parenchyma cells form a distinct boundary around the wound in all investigated species. Vessels and fibres within and close behind the suberized area appeared more or less occluded; vessels in Fagus, Quercus, and Populus contained suberized tyloses, those in Betula and Tilia contained amorphous and fibrillar deposits. A common mechanism for suberin deposition in the parenchyma cells became evident. Cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum were apparently involved in suberization. Suberin compounds are extruded by cytoplasmic vesicles, which fused with the plasma membrane, in order to release their content. The suberin layer exhibited the typical lamellated structure; cytoplasmic continuity between suberized cells by plasmodesmata was maintained through the suberin layer. Fagus revealed the most intense suberized area as compared with the other species. Within the reaction zone of Fagus and Quercus, some individual ray and axial parenchyma cells exhibited a subdivision into 2 or 3 compartments prior to suberization. Subdivision was achieved by the formation of a primary wall-like layer. Subsequently, the compartments became individually suberized. Wounding during winter did not induce suberization. Also, samples wounded and kept under water during the vegetation period showed no response. The role of suberization in the effectivity of wound-associated compartmentalization is discussed.