, Volume 174, Issue 3–4, pp 173–183

Epidermal derivatives as xylem elements and transfer cells: a study of the host-parasite interface in two species of Triphysaria (Scrophulariaceae)

  • H. S. Heide-JØrgensen
  • J. Kuijt


Haustoria ofTriphysaria pusilla andT. versicolor subsp.faucibarbata from a natural habitat were analysed by light and electron microscopy. The keel-shaped edge of the secondary haustorium generally splits the epidermis and cortex of the host root parallel to the root axis, and penetrates to the host vascular tissue. Anticlinally elongated epidermal cells of the haustorium constitute most of the host/parasite interface. Some of these epidermal cells are divided by oblique cell walls. Some of their oblique daughter cells as well as some undivided epidermal cells differentiate into xylem elements. Single epidermal cells occasionally intrude into the vascular tissue of the host and individual host cells can be invaded. The surface area of the plasmalemma in parasitic parenchymatous interface cells is increased by the differentiation of wall labyrinths characteristic of transfer cells and by the development of membrane-lined cytoplasmic tubules or flattened sacs which become embedded in the partly lignified interface cell-wall. Mycorrhizal fungal hyphae enter the xylem bridge in some haustoria. Implications of these observations for the function of the haustorium are discussed.


Epidermis Haustorial interface Hemiparasite Orthocarpus Transfer cells Triphysaria Xylem elements 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. S. Heide-JØrgensen
    • 1
  • J. Kuijt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoria
  2. 2.Botanical Institute, Department of Plant EcologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark

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