Development and Composition of the Warty Layer in Balsam Fir. I. Development


  • W. M. Baird
  • R. A. Parham
  • M. A. Johnson


<i>Abies balsamea</i>, warts, tracheids, softwoods, electron microscopy, cell structure, secondary walls, bordered pits, lignification, staining, cell wall


The deposition and ultrastructure of the warty layer in developing tracheids of balsam fir [Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.] were studied by means of transmission electron microscopy. The wart structure gradually was developed external to the plasma membrane after secondary wall deposition and the greater part of lignification were complete. Warts were synthesized first in the cell corners and pit cavities and then on the remainder of the cell walls. No cytoplasmic organelle was found to be associated specifically with wart formation. After the warty layer was elaborated, the cytoplasm disappeared from the cell, leaving no discernible trace of disorganized residue. The bulk of the wart structure exhibited staining properties similar to those of lignin. However, the basal portions of individual warts were sometimes less darkly stained than the outer portions, indicating possible heterogeneous composition.


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