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Am J Bot. 1999 Jul;86(7):923-8.

The internal cuticle of Cirsium horridulum (Asteraceae) leaves.

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Microscopy Center and.


Leaf internal cuticle has not previously been studied in detail, and yet its existence has profound implications for the path of water movement. The internal cuticle forms a uniform layer on the inner periclinal epidermal walls that border substomatal cavities. This cuticle is continuous with the external cuticle through the stomatal pores. The thickness of the internal cuticle on nonstomatal epidermal cells is approximately one-third that of the external cuticle on the same cells. On both the abaxial and adaxial sides of the leaf the internal cuticle forms irregularly shaped islands bordered by mesophyll cells. The size of the islands coincides with the epidermal area of the substomatal cavity. The internal cuticle remains intact and connected to the external cuticle after incubation in cellulytic enzymes. After treatment with sulfuric acid or chloroform, both cuticles remain intact. The autofluorescence of both cuticles is increased by staining with auramine O. These results indicate that large portions of the leaf epidermis are covered by both an internal and an external cuticle.

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