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Nucleated Wood Fibres in Some Members of Combretaceae

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The wood fibres retain their living protoplast in eleven species of five genera of the Combretaceae. Among the species studied, those of Anogeissus and Terminalia are trees while those of Calycopteris, Combretum and Quisqualis are large scandent shrubs. Living fibres with oval to oblong or fusiform shaped nuclei were found among all the species but their occurrence is more persistent in trees than in scandent species. The fibres are septate, thick-walled with narrow lumen and possess slitlike simple pits. In Combretum ovalifolium prismatic crystals frequently co-occur with the nucleus in the same compartment of the fibres. The possible significance of living fibres is discussed.


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