Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 108, Issue 4, pp 517–526 | Cite as

Structural and systematic study of an unusual tracheid type in cacti

  • James D. Mauseth
  • Yoriko Uozumi
  • Brandon J. Plemons
  • James V. Landrum
Original Articles


Wide-band tracheids are a specialized tracheid type in which an annular or helical secondary wall projects deeply into the cell lumen. They are short, wide and spindle-shaped, and their bandlike secondary walls cover little of the primary wall, leaving most of it available for water diffusion. Wide-band tracheids appear to store and conduct water while preventing the spread of embolisms. They may be the most abundant tracheary element in the xylem, but they are always accompanied by at least a few vessels. Typically, fibers are absent wherever wide-band tracheids are present. Wide-band tracheids occur in the primary and secondary xylem of succulent stems, leaves and roots in genera of all three subfamilies of Cactaceae but were not found in the relictual genusPereskia, which lacks succulent tissues. In the large subfamily Cactoideae, wide-band tracheids occur only in derived members, and wide-band tracheids of North American Cactoideae are narrower and are aligned in a more orderly radial pattern than those of South American Cactoideae. Wide-band tracheids probably arose at least three times in Cactaceae.

Key words

Cactaceae Evolution Water stress Wood Xeric adaptation Xylem 


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Mauseth
    • 1
  • Yoriko Uozumi
    • 1
  • Brandon J. Plemons
    • 1
  • James V. Landrum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of TexasAustinU.S.A.

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