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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 7 - Sympodial systems and patterns of nodal anatomy

Summary

Perspective: leaf traces

Vegetative shoots consist of stems bearing leaves. In order to develop, and to synthesize various necessary compounds required by the plant, leaves must have access to a source of water and essential minerals which are transported into them from the stem through the primary xylem. Photosynthate and other compounds synthesized in the leaves are, in turn, transported through the primary phloem into the stem and root system for storage and/or use. This transport of substances takes place in primary vascular connections between the stem vascular system and the base of leaves called leaf traces. Traces may diverge from the stem vascular system some distance below, or very near, the nodes (sites of attachment of leaves to stems) at which they enter the leaves. Leaf traces are composed of protoxylem, metaxylem, protophloem, and metaphloem, and typically contain transfer cells in both primary xylem and primary phloem. In seed plants, leaf traces are often larger and contain more tracheary cells than the vascular bundles from which they diverge, and they may increase in size distally. A leaf may be vascularized by only one or by several to many leaf traces.

In order to understand the morphology of nodal regions of shoots we must observe both transverse and median longitudinal sections through these regions. Remember that stems bear many leaves in various spatial distributions.

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FURTHER READING
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The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Esau, K. 1977. Anatomy of Seed Plants, 2nd edn. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
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The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Larson, P. R. 1975. Development and organization of the primary vascular system in Populus deltoides according to phyllotaxy. Am. J. Bot. 62: 1084–1099.
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