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Comparative differentiation in the air roots of Monstera deliciosa

Comparative differentiation in the air roots of Monstera deliciosa

American Journal of Botany 33(7): 587-590

ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9122

DOI: 10.2307/2437398

In the air roots of M. deliciosa it is possible to distinguish several types of cellular differentiation. As in most roots, early differential cell divisions at the apex set apart the main tissue systems. All the final divisions in the hypodermis and many of those in the rest of the cortex are polar and each results in 2 markedly different daughter cells, the apical larger and more vacuolate, the basal smaller and more densely cytoplasmic. Further differentiation of the smaller cells results in mature elements which are very dissimilar, those in the hypodermis forming the characteristic short cells of this layer, but those in the cortex becoming long, branched and thick-walled trichosclereids. This difference seems to be related to the presence of well developed air spaces between cells of the cortex which are absent in the hypodermis. Considerably later, certain parenchyma cells of the cortex may become thick-walled brachysclereids. Expt. shows that this differentiation depends on the relation of these cells to a surface (either natural or the result of wounding). The fate of a cell thus seems to depend (1) upon its position in the unfolding temporal and spatial pattern of development, related primarily to a system of genetically determined cell polarities, and (2) upon its position in a physiological system, related primarily to environmental factors.

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Accession: 013666078

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