Ultrastructure of Silica Deposits in Higher Plants

  • A. G. Sangster
  • D. W. Parry


The element silicon enters plants as a component of water-soluble monosilicic acid, Si(OH)4 (Barber and Shone, 1966), which is transported subsequently through the root, stem, and leaves. In any of these organs, polymerization to the solid, hydrated oxide SiO2 · nH2O, known as opaline silica or as silica gel (Kaufman et al, 1970), may occur at tissue sites, frequently in close proximity to the transpiration stream (Frey-Wyssling, 1930) in diverse groups of vascular plants ranging from the horsetails, representing the Pteridophyta, to many families of flowering plants in the Spermatophyta. This chapter includes a selective review of the literature on silicification emphasizing anatomical and ultrastructural aspects of the process.


Panicum Virgatum Intercellular Space Silicic Acid Seminal Root Tangential Wall 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1981

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  • A. G. Sangster
  • D. W. Parry

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