University of California

Effect of 2,4-D upon the development of the cotton leaf


Ernest M. Gifford

Author Affiliations

Ernest M. Gifford, Jr. was Assistant Professor of Botany and Assistant Botanist in the Experiment Station, Davis, California.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 21(18):605-644. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n18p605. February 1953.

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Cytohistological studies indicate that in the terminal bud of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. var. Acala), 2,4-D applied in sublethal dosage to the cotyledons affects the structure and morphology, not of the apical meristem itself, but of the organs and tissues derived from it. 2,4-D affects not only foliage-leaf primordio present at the time of application but also some that develop thereafter.

Treated plants resemble untreated in the structure of the shoot apical meristem (though the dimensions differ) and in the initiation of new foliage leaves. The earliest divisions in the development of the leaf blade appear normal in treated plants. Subsequent ones, however, are precociously and predominantly periclinal, which results in the formation of a thick lamina. In addition to laterally contiguous bundles formed in a manner similar to that in untreated plants, accessory vascular bundles are present in the lamina which develop from derivatives of an extensive adaxial meristem.

A mature leaf contains a large amount of vascular tissue surrounded in general by unspecialized parenchyma. In the shoot, xylem and sievetube elements differentiate in normal directions, but the former are retarded in development and the latter accelerated as compared with those in untreated plants.

In the shoots of untreated plants, the development of the procambium is continuous and acropetal.

The anatomical responses induced by 2,4-D and those caused by other growth-regulating substances are briefly compared.

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Gifford E. 1953. Effect of 2,4-D upon the development of the cotton leaf. Hilgardia 21(18):605-644. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n18p605
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