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Plastic casts in studies of ontogenetic fusion and carpel morphology in apple and citrus fruit



Plastic casts in studies of ontogenetic fusion and carpel morphology in apple and citrus fruit



Phytomorphology 24(3-4): 180-185



A unique means for revealing ontogenetic fusion of carpels and other morphological features of the fruits of apple (Malus domestica) and orange (Citrus sinensis) was achieved by injecting fluid plastic (monomeric methyl methacrylate) into the fruits, and then polymerizing the plastic. Removal of the tissue by strong alkali released casts of the internal compartments of the fruits, and of the intercellular space system of the pericarp. In both apple and orange fruits the plastic was distrubuted in the pericarp along longitudinal, radial sectors between the carpels. These sectors delimited the areas of ontogenetic fusion between adjacent carpels. In the apple, the radial planes of fusion became evident only after penetration of the tissue by the plastic. In effect, the plastic delimited the boundary between groups of cells. A similar delimitation of modular cell clusters was evident when plastic was injected into animal tissues. Scanning EM of the casts from the fruit tissue provided a new way of viewing the intercellular space system in plant materials.

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Accession: 006133370

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