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Glandular trichomes of Ceratotheca triloba (Pedaliaceae): morphology, histochemistry and ultrastructure


This study was initiated to characterize the distribution, morphology, secretion mode, histochemistry and ultrastructure of the glandular trichomes of Ceratotheca triloba using light and electron microscopy. Its leaves bear two morphologically distinct glandular trichomes. The first type has long trichome with 8–12 basal cells of pedestal, 3–14 stalk cells, a neck cell and a head of four cells in one layer. The second type has short trichome comprising one or two basal epidermal cells, a unicellular or bicellular stalk and a multicellular head of two to eight cells. There is a marked circular area in the upper part of each head cell of the long trichome. This area is provided with micropores to exudate directly the secretory product onto the leaf surface by an eccrine pathway. The secretory product has copious amount of dark microbodies arising from plastids which are positive to Sudan tests and osmium tetroxide for unsaturated lipids. The secretion mode of short trichomes is granulocrine and involves two morphologically and histochemically distinct vesicle types: small Golgi-derived vesicles which are positive to Ruthenium Red test for mucilaginous polysaccharides; the second type is dark large microbodies similar to that of long trichomes with low quantity. These two types are stored in numerous peripheral vacuoles and discharge their contents accompanied by the formation of irregular invaginations of the plasmalemma inside the vacuoles via reverse pinocytosis. These two secretion modes of long and short trichomes are reported for the first time in the family Pedaliaceae. The long trichomes have more unsaturated lipids, while the short trichomes contain more mucilaginous polysaccharides.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Research Foundation, South Africa, for financial support.

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Correspondence to Yougasphree Naidoo or Samia Heneidak.

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Naidoo, Y., Karim, T., Heneidak, S. et al. Glandular trichomes of Ceratotheca triloba (Pedaliaceae): morphology, histochemistry and ultrastructure. Planta 236, 1215–1226 (2012).

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  • Foxglove
  • Unsaturated lipids
  • Long trichomes
  • Medicinal plant
  • Microbodies
  • Mucilaginous polysaccharides
  • Secretion mode
  • Short trichomes
  • Vesicles