The distribution and structure of laticifers in Ficus carica L. were investigated in a current-year branch and an 8-year-old trunk, using serial sections stained with safranin-fast green or nile blue. In the 8-year-old trunk, laticifers were found not only in the cortex, secondary phloem, and pith, but also in the secondary xylem. The laticifers in the phloem and xylem were of the branched, non-articulated type. In addition, horizontal laticifers extending from the phloem through the cambium to the xylem were found in some rays. Laticifers penetrating the cambial initial layer elongated in the cambial zone without cell division. Activation of latex production occurred after wounding of cortex and phloem, and the latex exuded from the cut site of laticifers into the surrounding wounded tissue and broken cells. The potential role of laticifers in defense of F. carica against certain pathogens is discussed.
IAWA Journal – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2014
Keywords: Latex; fig tree; defense; Ceratocystis ficicola
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