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Bicellular Trichomes of Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) Leaves: Morphology, Histochemistry, and Function

  • Chester G. McWhorter (a1), Rex N. Paul (a2) and J. Clark Ouzts (a3)

Abstract

Studies were conducted of one of the structural factors that influences microroughness on johnsongrass leaves. Bicellular trichomes, 47 ± 5 μm long, represented 4 to 5% of all epidermal cells. They secreted a mucilagenous material that covered 8 ± 4% of the leaf surface. Bicellular trichomes occurred in longitudinal rows, intermixed with intercostal cork-silica cells, between rows of stomata. Numbers of bicellular trichomes present per unit area were inversely related to numbers of intercostal cork-silica cells. The trichomes were the panicoid type that are reported not to secrete salts. Johnsongrass trichomes, however, could be induced to discharge salt in the mucilage-type secretions when plants were grown in a soil mixture that was high in lime. Not all secretory constituents were identified, but carbohydrates and callose were found in addition to possible low concentrations of protein. The apical or cap cell of the trichomes stained positively for lipid, protein, and polysaccharide and negatively for pectin, polyphenols, steroids, and alkaloids. The presence of trichomes increases leaf surface microroughness, but the secretion covers wax crystals, decreasing leaf microroughness and likely providing another barrier to herbicide entry through the cuticle. Bicellular trichomes on grain sorghum were similar to those on johnsongrass and also discharged secretions on the leaf surface.

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Keywords

Bicellular Trichomes of Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) Leaves: Morphology, Histochemistry, and Function

  • Chester G. McWhorter (a1), Rex N. Paul (a2) and J. Clark Ouzts (a3)

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