Sequences of epicuticular wax structures along stems in four selected tree species
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Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 2014;(35):9–14
Wax layer formation accompanies the processes of epidermis and cuticle formation. To examine these changes, observationsalong current-year long shoots of four woody species (Acer negundo, A. rufinerve, Gymnocladus dioica, and Gingko biloba) were made. Long shoots are suitable objects for such observations, because from the same stem, several samples can be obtained that represent a well-defined sequence of fragments of different ages. The data that were obtained from different and sometimes distant stem regions suggest that epicuticular wax crystals appear on the stems very early and quickly, since they are found near the stem apex during intensive plant growth. This was confirmed for the four examined species. Some differences, however, were noted. Very rapid production of prominent wax crystals was observed in stems. In an experiment involving mechanical wax removal from the A. negundo stem surface and subsequent analysis of the surface after several days via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), it was shown that wax regenerates very quickly. After only several hours, new emerging crystals were observed and their morphologies were essentially the same. Nearly full regeneration was observed several days after removal.