Structure and Differentiation of Sieve Elements in Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

  • L. M. Srivastava
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 4)


This review covers the literature on structure and development of sieve elements in angiosperms and gymnosperms from 1968 onward. The literature up to that year is well summarized in the book, The Phloem, by Esau (1969). Certain topics on the phloem of angiosperms and gymnosperms such as P-protein, sieve areas, sieve pores and walls, and the parenchyma cells associated with the sieve elements are covered by other authors in this volume. I will concentrate chiefly on studies on living sieve elements and on the changes in protoplast and nucleus during differentiation of the sieve elements. In this account I will be selective rather than comprehensive and will not present an objective summary but a critical review reflecting my own bias. Dr. Eschrich complained not too long ago that “... electron microscopy has confused rather than clarified the structural state of conducting cells ...” (Eschrich, 1970). Rightly so, for there is confusion. But if one takes into account the preparatory artefacts, the vagaries of individual interpretation, and the taxonomic overtoppings with which Mother Nature attempts to confuse us, there emerges a remarkably consistent and meaningful picture of the sieve element structure and differentiation, not only in the angiosperms and gymnosperms but vascular plants as a whole. The brown algae seem to be a case apart as the recent investigations of Dr. Klaus Schmitz in our laboratory show (Schmitz and Srivastava 1974a, b). Finally, I would like to inject one guiding principle. Every now and then one reads that such a result was obtained by light microscopy but under the electron microscope a different result was obtained.


Nuclear Envelope Vacuolar Membrane Sieve Tube Sieve Element Cytoplasmic Streaming 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Srivastava
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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