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Gnetum gnemon exhibits Rouxʼs model of tree architecture, with clear differentiation of orthotropic from plagiotropic axes. All axes have similar anatomy and react to displacement in the same way. Secondary xylem of displaced stems shows little eccentricity of development and no reaction anatomy. In contrast, there is considerable eccentricity in extra-xylary tissue involving both primary and secondary production of apparent tension-wood fibres (gelatinous fibres) of three main kinds. Narrow primary fibres occur concentrically in all axes in the outer cortex as a normal developmental feature. In displaced axes gelatinous fibres are developed abundantly and eccentrically on the topographically upper side, from pre-existing and previously undetermined primary cortical cells. They are wide with lamellate cell walls. In addition narrow secondary phloem fibres are also differentiated abundantly and eccentrically on the upper side of displaced axes. These gelatinous fibres are narrow and without obviously lamellate cell walls. Eccentric gelatinous fibres thus occupy a position that suggests they have the function of tension wood fibres as found in angiosperms. This may be the first report in a gymnosperm of fibres with tension capability. Gnetum gne-mon thus exhibits reaction tissues of unique types, which are neither gymnospermous nor angiospermous. Reaction tissues seem important in maintaining the distinctive architecture of the tree.


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