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Structure and vascularization of the areolar region in leaf cacti

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Carla de Agostini Verna
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Gladys Flávia de Albuquerque Melo de Pinna; Emilia Cristina Pereira de Arruda; Nanuza Luiza de Menezes
Advisor: Gladys Flávia de Albuquerque Melo de Pinna

One of the remarkable features of Cactacaeae A. L. de Jussieu is the presence of areoles in the steam, considered very short shoots. Many studies of the structure and development of the areole were made with species of Pereskioideae, Opuntioideae and Cactoideae. In general, these studies describe the presence of trichomes and spines, transitional forms between spines and leaves and vascular patterns of the areole region. Thus, the study of areole in Cactaceae requires anatomical investigations, propelling the development of this work. Our study consists in analyzing the structure and vascularization of the areolar region in groups of Cactacea that present leaves, and the select speacies were: Pereskia bahiensis Gürke (Pereskioideae), Maihuenia patagônica (Phil.) Britton & Rose (Maihuenioideae) and Opuntia dillenii (Ker Gawl.) Haw. (Opuntioideae). The analyzes were made with optical and eletronic scanning microscopy, considering aspects related to structures present in the areole, like trichomes, spines and leaves, and describing the general organization of the tissues and vascularization of the areole, through transverse and longitudinal seriate sections. As results, we can point out the presence of a procambial strand in the base of the spines in P. bahiensis, the early differentiation of the meristematic intercalary zone in spines of M.patagonica, and the many similarities between areole and the leaf axil in families related to Cactaceae. We conclude the areole organization is conserved inside Cactaceae, and that future studies aiming the understanding of the origin of the areolar region should be focused in Rhodocactus (basal to Cactaceae), and also in groups inside Portulacineae (AU)