Journal of the International Aroid Society, Inc.
Volume 6, Number 1 (1983); Pages 9-11
The remarkable shooting idioblasts
By Father Eugene Middendorf    
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The ejection of sharp, needlelike crystals from specialized spindleshaped cells of the plant Dieffenbachia is a phenomenon that deserves more attention from biology teachers and, perhaps researchers. Students are fascinated when they see these distinctive cells (idioblasts) shoot out needle after needle like some kind of automatic microscopic blowgun. But the performance and structure of these achlorophyllous cells should be used for more than just laboratory entertainment.


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