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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The presence of thin-walled parenchymatous cells in the inner bundle sheath of species of the liliaceous genera Aloe, Chamaealoe, Astroloba, Lomatophyllum, Gasteria, Haworthia, Asphodeline, Asphodelus, Bulbine, Eremurus and Trachyandra was observed and described. Some species, however, have lignified sclerenchymatous cells in this position and this is general in Kniphofia. Cells in this region produce a secretion in the form of a copious exudate in many species of Aloe, or much sparser contents in the case of related genera. The leaves of most species contain small amounts of anthraquinones, while the related anthrone-C-glycosides accumulate in others. A wide range of other phenolic substances occurs, recognized as distinct zones on thin layer chromatograms, but mainly consisting of unidentified compounds. It is not certain if synthesis occurs in the thin-walled bundle sheath cells or if these have only a storage function. Another layer of rather smaller parenchymatous cells in the outer bundle sheath is distinct in the majority of genera and these cells typically contain amorphous globules of unidentified material. Infrequently, similar globules are seen in the inner bundle sheath cells. It is postulated that synthesis of secretory compounds takes place perhaps in the inner mesophyll and in the outer bundle sheath cells. The presence of a thin-walled secretory tissue, together with the compounds secreted in many species, suggests close affinity between most of the genera mentioned, although the ubiquitous lignification excludes Kniphofia.

Affiliations: 1: Queen Elizabeth College, University of London ; 2: Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens


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