Author: Jun Abe
Silicon deposition in leaf trichome of six horticultural Cucurbitaceae species, cucumber (Cucumis sativus), pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima), melon (Cucumis melo), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), sponge gourd (Luffa cylindrica) and bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria var. hispida) was observed by an X-ray microanalyzer coupled with an environmental scanning electron microscope. The elements that presented in the surface of three or four leaves of the individual species were detected and mapped by the X-ray microanalyzer. In leaves of cucumber, pumpkin, and melon, high accumulation of silicon was detected in cells surrounding the bases of the trichome hair and the hair itself deposited calcium. On the other hand, in sponge gourd and bottle gourd, high accumulation of silicon was detected only in the hair. In watermelon leaves, silicon deposited both in the hair and in cells surrounding the bases of the hair. Thus, horticultural Cucurbitaceae plants have interspecific variation in the pattern of silicon deposition in leaf trichomes.
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