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Anatomy and Ultrastructure of Pith Fleck-Like Tissues in Some Rosaceae Tree Species

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Unusual xylem tissues were found in Amelanchier laevis, Prunus pensylvanica, P. virginiana, Sorbus americana and S. aucuparia. These zones of abnormal xylem were composed of hypertrophied cells and bands that apparently comprised collapsed cells. The hypertrophied cells appeared to occupy gaps that began to form in the cambial zone. Histochemical tests indicated that the bands were highly lignified and impermeable to an aqueous solution of KMnO4, as revealed by fluorescence. Transmission electron microscope examination disclosed clearly that the bands were composed of collapsed cells and showed that the hypertrophied cells had thicker walls which contained, at times, additional layers. Although the cause of this tissue formation is unknown, its anatomy is quite similar to pith fleck tissues reported by others as being caused by cambium mining insects.


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