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An Ultrastructural Study of the Phloem of Drimys (Winteraceae)

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The ultrastructural features of mainly primary phloem of three species of Drimys (Winteraceae), D. winteri J. R. ' G. Forst., D. lanceolata (Poiret) Baill. and D. granadensis L. f. var. mexicana (DC.) A. C. Smith are similar to those usually observed in dicotyledons. The sieve element is early discernible by its association with a companion cell, the deposition of callose in nascent sieve areas, and the appearance in the cytoplasm of the nondispersing paracrystalline protein body. Plastids with starch (and in D. lanceolata also with paracrystalline protein granules), mitochondria, sparse endoplasmic reticulum cisternae (ER), dictyosomes, and ribosomes are present in the young cell. Stacking of ER was not conspicuous. The nucleus is moderately chromatic before its breakdown. P-protein occurs in more or less dense aggregates that usually become dispersed after the tonoplast disappears. The subunits of the P-pro tein have tubular structure before the dispersal. The plasmalemma is retained. The sieve areas are combined into sieve plates on long radial walls and on some transverse walls originating during secondary partitioning of sieve element precursors. The numerous lateral sieve areas intergrade with those of the sieve plates. The pores develop from plasmodesmatal connections and may involve the formation of median cavities. The connections between sieve elements alld companion cells consist of the usual combination of a pore embedded in callose and one plasmodesma or several branches of one on the companion cell side.


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