, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 515–521

Chlorophyll distribution pattern in inner stem tissues: evidence from epifluorescence microscopy and reflectance measurements in 20 woody species

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00468-006-0067-1

Cite this article as:
Dima, E., Manetas, Y. & Psaras, G.K. Trees (2006) 20: 515. doi:10.1007/s00468-006-0067-1


The occurrence of functional chloroplasts in internal stem tissues and their distribution profiles in 20 woody species have been investigated. Chloroplasts were identified from the red chlorophyll auto-fluorescence using epi-fluorescence microscopy. Chloroplasts were detected in the cortex of all species examined, in the xylem rays of 19 and in the perimedullar and the pith cells of 16 out of the 20 investigated species. Chloroplast containing cell clusters in the pith were identified in some species. In addition, we report on the semi-quantitative distribution of chlorophylls in various internal stem tissues. Chlorophyll level was estimated by reflectance measurements at specific wave bands. Although decreasing chlorophyll gradients from cortex to pith were observed in half of the species, chlorophyll distribution in the remaining species was irregular with occasionally high levels in the pith. According to our data, chlorophyll occurrence in stem internal tissues is quite widespread, even in the light remote, deeply shaded central compartments like pith, provided that corresponding cells are viable. The species-specific tissue distribution of chlorophyll levels may be used to select suitable plants to investigate further this neglected area of photosynthesis research.


Chlorophyll absorptivity Chlorophyll fluorescence Epi-fluorescence microscopy Pith Wood photosynthesis 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleni Dima
    • 1
  • Yiannis Manetas
    • 1
  • George K. Psaras
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Plant Biology, Department of BiologyUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece