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Occurrence of radial sieve elements in the secondary phloem rays of some tropical species

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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Solitary or groups of two to three sieve elements were found in the rays of the secondary phloem of Tamarindus indica L., Melia azedarach L., Gmelina arborea Roxb., Bombax ceiba L., Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre, Sterculia urens Roxb., and Thespesia populnea (L.) Correa trees. These elements were similar in length while slightly larger in diameter than ray parenchyma cells, and possessed a simple plate on their transverse to slightly oblique end walls. Like axial sieve elements, the ray sieve elements were associated with single companion cells at their corners. When functional, they also exhibited slime plugs and cytoplasmic strands, like axial sieve elements. Non-functional ray sieve elements exhibited massive accumulation of callose on sieve plates, followed by collapse and obliteration. The distribution pattern of the elements differed among the species studied. Usually they developed from the marginal ray parenchyma cells, but they were also found in the central part of the rays. Structural details and their possible significance are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Christ College


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