Zinc, meristem anatomy and seed germination – this week in Annals of Botany

The latest plant science research from Annals of Botany.

Zinc concentration in young leaves In situ analysis of foliar zinc absorption and short-distance movement in fresh and hydrated leaves of tomato and citrus using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy
Globally, zinc deficiency is one of the most important nutritional factors limiting crop yield and quality. Despite widespread use of foliar-applied zinc fertilizers, much remains unknown regarding the movement of zinc from the foliar surface into the vascular structure for translocation into other tissues and the key factors affecting this diffusion. Using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy (Β΅-XRF), absorption of foliar-applied zinc nitrate or zinc hydroxide nitrate was examined in fresh leaves of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and citrus (Citrus reticulatus). The results advance our understanding of the factors that influence the efficacy of foliar zinc fertilizers and demonstrate the merits of an innovative methodology for studying foliar zinc translocation mechanisms.


How and why does the areole meristem move in Echinocereus (Cactaceae)?
In Cactaceae, the areole is the organ that forms the leaves, spines and buds. Apparently, the genus Echinocereus develops enclosed buds that break through the epidermis of the stem adjacent to the areole; this trait most likely represents a synapomorphy of Echinocereus. The development of the areole is investigated here in order to understand the anatomical modifications that lead to internal bud development and to supplement anatomical knowledge of plants that do not behave according to classical shoot theory. The enclosed areole meristem and internal bud development are understood to be an adaptation to protect the meristem and the bud from low temperatures.


Effects of germination time on seed morph ratio in a seed-dimorphic species and possible ecological significance
Diaspores of heteromorphic species may germinate at different times due to distinct dormancy-breaking and germination requirements, and this difference can influence life history traits. The primary aim of this study was to determine the effect of germination time of the two seed morphs of Suaeda corniculata subsp. mongolica on life history traits of the offspring. The flexible strategy of a species that produces different proportions of dimorphic seeds in response to variation in germination timing may favour the maintenance and regeneration of the population in its unpredictable environment.



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