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Torus Structure and Development in the Woods of Ulmus Alata Michx., Celtis Laevigata Willd., and Celtis Occidentalis L.

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Pit membranes between tracheary elements of Ulmus alata, Celtis laevigata, and Celtis occidentalis often contained tori. The degree of development of tori varied and was greatest in those membranes connecting elements of small diameter. Complete tori consisted of two wall thickenings adjoined by a central layer. In three dimensions the shape of the torus often approximated a grooved wheel. Initiation of thickening in the pit membrane occurred first on the side of the older cell and was well underway prior to the beginning of secondary wall synthesis. Torus formation resulted from the thickening of the primary walls of the pit membrane. Development of the torus was associated with membranous vesicles and cisternae but not with microtubule complexes as was reported in Osmanthus. The pit membranes in this study are capable of aspiration, and the tori may prevent rupture of the pit membrane during this process.


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