This study of plant anatomy is based on newly available data on the structure and spatial organization of the vascular system of plants. For the first time, by means of a new technique of intracellular moulding, the vascular system can be observed in its length. Many examples are chosen from among the major groups of the plant kingdom to illustrate the vast field of applications of histological moulding: anatomical structures that have so far been little understood or unknown are described and hypotheses relative to the cambial functioning are presented. Following a summary of basic concepts of xylem anatomy, the text is illustrated with many diagrams and photographs of moulds made for the most part with scanning electron microscope. The successive steps of the technical implementation of moulding, are described with precision. The book is addressed not only to scientists and students, but also to professionals concerned with wood, trees, and plants in general.
POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS OF MICROCASTING: Histogenesis, Structure and Function of the Xylem: Overview; Histogenesis, Structure and Function of the Xylem The Primary Xylem of Angiosperms: Advantage of Vascular Casting; The Heterogeneous Vessels; The Branched Vessels The Secondary Xylem of Dicotyledons: Advantage of Vascular Casting; Formation of Vessel Ends; Occasional Branching of Vessels; The Effects of Constraints and Cambial Deformations on Vascular Morphology; Vascular Junctions Between Adjacent Axes; Vascular Junctions Between a Hemiparasite and its Host The Xylem of Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms: Advantage of Casting of Tracheids; The Xylem of Pteridophytes; The Xylem of Gymnosperms Intercellular Spaces and Canals. Phloem and Parenchyma Advantage of Casting; Casting in Spaces and Canals; Intracellular Casting in Parenchyma; Casting in the Sieve Tubes of Phloem; Perspectives THE TECHNIQUE OF MICROCASTING: Introduction Preparation of Plant Material: Descriptive Profile; Planes of Section; Treatment of the Spaces to be Cast; Obstacles to the Progression of the Casting Agent through the Tissues Injection of the Casting Agent: Principle of Injection; Degassing Apparatus; Degassing; Injection; Duration of Injection; Injection of Coloured Elastomer Properties and Crosslinking of the Casting Agent: Properties of Silicone Elastomer RTV 141; Practical Conditions for Crosslinking Chemical Destruction of Plant Tissues: Principle; Hydrolysis of Polysaccharides; Oxidation of Lignin Manipulation of Casts: Characteristics of Silicone Elastomer Casts; Manipulation; Photography of Casts