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Trends Plant Sci. 2003 Apr;8(4):159-64.

How plants make tubes.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

The plant body requires the transport of various materials over large distances. Two cell types that bear a striking resemblance morphologically are the cells specialized for water transport and those responsible for the transport of oxygen: xylem and lysigenous aerenchyma, respectively. Each of these cell types undergoes programmed cell death and cellular autolysis, resulting in the production of a functional space within the plant body. The major morphological difference observed is the presence of the lignified secondary wall in water-conducting tissues. The prevalence of tubular structures in other plant tissues suggests that the ability to form spaces through cellular autolysis is a fundamental paradigm in plant development and evolution.

PMID:
12711227
DOI:
10.1016/S1360-1385(03)00050-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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