, Volume 181, Issue 3, pp 423–431 | Cite as

Spatial distribution of growth rates and of epidermal cell lengths in the elongation zone during leaf development in Lolium perenne L.

  • H. Schnyder
  • S. Seo
  • I. F. Rademacher
  • W. Kühbauch


Relative elemental growth rates (REGR) and lengths of epidermal cells along the elongation zone of Lolium perenne L. leaves were determined at four developmental stages ranging from shortly after emergence of the leaf tip to shortly before cessation of leaf growth. Plants were grown at constant light and temperature. At all developmental stages the length of epidermal cells in the elongation zone of both the blade and sheath increased from 12 μm at the leaf base to about 550 μm at the distal end of the elongation zone, whereas the length of epidermal cells within the joint region only increased from 12 to 40 μm. Throughout the developmental stages elongation was confined to the basal 20 to 30 mm of the leaf with maximum REGR occurring near the center of the elongation zone. Leaf elongation rate (LER) and the spatial distributions of REGR and epidermal cell lengths were steady to a first approximation between emergence of the leaf tip and transition from blade to sheath growth. Elongation of epidermal cells in the sheath started immediately after the onset of elongation of the most proximal blade epidermal cells. During transition from blade to sheath growth the length of the blade and sheath portion of the elongation zone decreased and increased, respectively, with the total length of the elongation zone and the spatial distribution of REGR staying near constant, with exception of the joint region which elongated little during displacement through the elongation zone. Leaf elongation rate decreased rapidly during the phase when only the sheath was growing. This was associated with decreasing REGR and only a small decrease in the length of the elongation zone. Data on the spatial distributions of growth rates and of epidermal cell lengths during blade elongation were used to derive the temporal pattern of epidermal cell elongation. These data demonstrate that the elongation rate of an epidermal cell increased for days and that cessation of epidermal cell elongation was an abrupt event with cell elongation rate declining from maximum to zero within less than 10 h.

Key words

Cell (growth, division) Kinematics (leaf growth) Leaf elongation rate Lolium (leaf growth) 



leaf elongation rate


relative elemental growth rates


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Schnyder
    • 1
  • S. Seo
    • 1
  • I. F. Rademacher
    • 1
  • W. Kühbauch
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Allgemeinen Pflanzenbau, Universität BonnBonn 1Germany

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