Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 156, Issue 1–2, pp 69–89 | Cite as

Xylem transfer cells in theValerianaceae

  • Hermann Lörcher
  • Focko Weberling
  • Marianne Hildenbrand


Stems, incl. rhizomes, and roots of 42 species ofValerianaceae were investigated in order to reveal the occurrence, structure and distribution of xylem transfer cells. Within nodes and internodes their frequency, distribution and gradients of development are similar to other families. — Within the secondary xylem of some species transfer cells can develop from cambial derivates, inValeriana tuberosa andPatrinia villosa even from pith cells. Within the turnip ofV. tuberosa transfer cells are very frequent and well developed. Here, after degradation of the cell-wall ingrowths they can be redifferentiated into storage cells which usually contain starch grains (“Hüllenstärkekörner”). In the transitional zone between stem and root of some predominantly herbaceous taxa transfer cells are often very frequent and form large protuberances before they degrade and lignify. SEM observations inValeriana decussata show that the cell-wall ingrowths are degradated at the beginning of lignification with the exception of brush-like protuberances remaining in the half-bordered pit-pairs. During the subsequent process of lignification the simple pits of a wall adjacent to a vessel can be transformed into corresponding pit-pairs. In this case the residues of the protuberances within the pit chamber can be transformed into incrustations similar to the vestures of bordered pits described byBailey (1933). Structural similarities between the brush-like protuberances in the half-bordered pits of theValeriana transfer cells and the ingrowths found inLauraceae (Castro 1982, 1985) are evident. Supposedly, all the cambial derivatives inValerianaceae can develop protuberances at least within their pits. Thus, it appears possible to interpret the vestures of the bordered pits as rudimentary protuberances, and to suggest that they have a specific function in the selective transport of solutes.

Key words

Angiosperms Valerianaceae Xylem transfer cells 

Transferzellen im Xylem derValerianaceae


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Lörcher
    • 1
  • Focko Weberling
    • 1
  • Marianne Hildenbrand
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Ulm, Abt. Spezielle Botanik (Biologie V), Oberer EselsbergUlmBundesrepublik Deutschland

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