Developmental and structural features of secretory canals in root and shoot wood of Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. (Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae)

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Copaifera langsdorffii Desf., popularly known as copaiba, is an oleoresin-producing tree has been over-exploited in Brazil by the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and varnish industries. Despite the long history of the use of this species, the structural knowledge on the resin-producing sites remains inadequate and is limited to the trunk. The aim of this study was to describe the origin, structure and developmental features of secretory spaces present in shoot and root wood of C. langsdorffii, based on the usual techniques of wood anatomy studies. Both root and shoot wood present secretory canals distributed along the marginal parenchyma bands which delimit growth layers. Secretory canals are constituted by a locally biseriate epithelium and lume that contains terpenes. They are arisen in the cambial zone from fusiform cambial initial cells and, eventually, ray initials. The origin of lumen is schizogenous. The epithelial cells have meristematic potential and are responsible for the locally biseriate epithelium. Mature secretory canals are wider and are separated between themselves only by a row of radial cells. The fusion of these adjacent secretory canals is frequent and results from the radial cell collapse. The finding of an interconnected system of resin canals in C. langsdorffii might be of value in terms of sustainable extraction of the resin and realistically assess its sustainable harvest potential.



Anatomy, Copaifera langsdorffii, Oleoresin, Secondary xylem, Secretory canals

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Trees-structure and Function. New York: Springer, v. 23, n. 5, p. 1013-1018, 2009.