Structural and ultrastructural aspects of ontogenesis and differentiation of resin secretory cavities in Hymenaea stigonocarpa (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae) leaves
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Cell lysis in the formation of secretory cavities in plants has been questioned by some authors and considered as result of technical artifacts. To describe the formation of secretory resin cavities in Hymenaea stigonocarpa leaves, leaflet samples at different stages of differentiation were collected, fixed, and processed for light and electron microscopy as per usual methods. The initial cells of secretory resin cavities are protodermal and grow towards the mesophyll ground meristem; these cells then divide producing cell groups that are distinguished by the shape and arrangement of cytoplasm, and density. At the initial stages of differentiation of the secretory cavities, some central cells in these groups show dark cytoplasm and condensed nuclear chromatin. Later, there is cell wall loosening, tonoplast and plasmalemma rupture resulting in cell death. These cells, however, maintain organelle integrity until lysis, when the cell wall degrades and the plasmalemma ruptures, releasing protoplast residues, marked characteristics of programmed cell death. The secretory epithelium remains active until complete leaf expansion when the cavity is filled with resin and the secretory activity ceases. There are no wall residues between central cells in adult cavities. Our results demonstrate lysigeny and the importance of ontogenetic studies in determining the origin of secretory cavities.