Primary and secondary thickening in the stem of Cordyline fruticosa (Agavaceae)

The growth in thickness of monocotyledon stems can be either primary, or primary and secondary. Most of the authors consider this thickening as a result of the PTM (Primary Thickening Meristem) and the STM (Secondary Thickening Meristem) activity. There are differences in the interpretation of which meristem would be responsible for primary thickening. In Cordyline fruticosa the procambium forms two types of vascular bundles: collateral leaf traces (with proto and metaxylem and proto and metaphloem), and concentric cauline bundles (with metaxylem and metaphloem). The procambium also forms the pericycle, the outermost layer of the vascular cylinder consisting of smaller and less intensely colored cells that are divided irregularly to form new vascular bundles. The pericycle continues the procambial activity, but only produces concentric cauline bundles. It was possible to conclude that the pericycle is responsible for the primary thickening of this species. Further away from the apex, the pericyclic cells undergo periclinal divisions and produce a meristematic layer: the secondary thickening meristem. The analysis of serial sections shows that the pericycle and STM are continuous in this species, and it is clear that the STM originates in the pericycle.The endodermis is acknowledged only as the innermost layer of the cortex.

pericycle; collateral leaf traces; concentric cauline bundles

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