University of California

Structure of end walls in differentiating vessels


Katherine Esau
WM. B. Hewitt

Authors Affiliations

Katherine Esau was Assistant Professor of Botany and Assistant Botanist in the Experiment Station; WM. B. Hewitt was Instructor in Plant Pathology and Junior Plant Pathologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 13(5):227-244. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n05p227. August 1940.

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The senior writer’s observations on the method of establishment of continuity between vessel segments in celery (Esau, 1936b)4 contradicted Priestley and his associates’ (1935); (1938), p. 348) interpretation of this phenomenon in other plants. It seemed desirable, therefore, to survey the literature for references on vessel ontogeny and to check the results obtained with celery by using some other plants. Moreover, addition of microchemical tests to the morphologic observations appeared pertinent. These enlarged studies on the nature and longevity of vessel end walls are described in the present paper.

Review of Literature

The development of continuous xylem tubes by perforation or complete removal of end walls in series of superposed cells has been recorded by early workers (Treviranus, 1835); (Mirbel, 1837); and others). Among these, (von Mohl (1845a), (1845b), (1849) and (Crüger (1855)) observed that the continuity between the vessel elements was established after the development of the secondary thickenings5 on the longitudinal walls and after the formation of the rim of secondary nature on the end walls. Many of the subsequent workers also observed that the end walls were perforated during the final stages of vessel differentiation, that is, after the vessel elements attained their mature diameter and maximum wall thickness (de Bary, 1884), p. 165; (Strasburger, 1882), p. 81; (Lange, 1891); (Flach, 1924); (Eames and MacDaniels, 1925), p. 151; (Duerden, 1934); (Esau, 1936b).

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Esau K, Hewitt W. 1940. Structure of end walls in differentiating vessels. Hilgardia 13(5):227-244. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v13n05p227
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