Comparative LM, SEM and EDAX study of chalk glands on leaf and stem of two species of Plumbago Linn.
Keywords:Plumbago zeylanica, Plumbago auriculata, LM, SEM, Chalk glands, EDAX analysis
Stem and leaves of two species of PlumbagoLinn.viz. P. zeylanica Linn.andP. auriculata Lam. were investigated for the structure and chemical composition of chalk glands. Light Microscopy (LM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) revealed the presence of chalk glands on both lower as well as upper surface of leaf and stem of both species. Chalk glands are abundant on lower surface and sparse on upper surface of leaf. Chalk glands are approximately hemispherical glands with oval or almost circular outline. It is composed of 8 cells arranged in two circles – central circle of 4 secretory cells and outer circle of 4 adjoining cells. Each secretory cell has depression which corresponds to pore. Each gland is surrounded by 4 subsidiary cells. No significant difference in the structure of chalk glands in both species was noticed. Chalk glands occupy three different positions with regard to epidermal cells –at the same level of the epidermis, slightly sunken in the epidermis and slightly raised above the epidermis. Common elements found in EDAX analysis of all chalk glands are carbon, oxygen, magnesium, sulphur, potassium and calcium. Differences in the presence of elements silicon, chlorine, aluminium, sodium, phosphorus were observed. The presence of significant amount of calcium in chalk glands and their dried deposits and absence of sodium and chlorine from dried deposits and even in some chalk glands appealed to use the term ‘Chalk gland’ instead of ‘Salt gland’ in Plumbago.
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