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Scanning electron microscopic observations on development and structure of pericarp of nelumbo nucifera gaertn


, : Scanning electron microscopic observations on development and structure of pericarp of nelumbo nucifera gaertn. Acta Botanica Sinica 30(3): 248-253

Pericarp of Hindu lotus is developed from the ovary wall only. It is differentiated into the exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp which can be clearly recognized. The vascular bundles, secretory apparatus and aerenchyma are present in the ground tissue. The aeration system is associated with stomata (St), air passages (Ap) and chamber (Ch). St apparatus with a specific form are located deeply under epidermal cells. Ap is schizogenous. Ch is schizolysigenous. The wall of Ch has perforations which lead to surrounding cells. Ap and Ch are in contact with St in both outer and inner epidermis (Ep), so the aeration system covers the whole pericarp. In Ep, there are several kinds of secretory apparatus with different slimes. Lacticifers are articulated, some of them are branched and some not. In xylem, annular and helical tracheids and vessels, in phloem, sieve tubes, campanion cells and their contents can be observed. On the opposite side of the funicular attachment near stigma develops a hump. The pericarp hump (Ph) is a specific structure in lotus. After studies on its fine structure, developing process and the relation between fruit development and Ph, the author considered that Ph functions probably as a respiratory apparatus of the developing seed.

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