by Ted Held

Cryptocoryne Roots

Cryptocoryne griffithi (probable identity). An aquatic or emergent aroid of the Asian fresh water tropics. Older viable root, 140X, showing the overall pattern of the cell rows. This is a section of the root near the "crown" from which leaves develop. Here the regular patterning of the cells can be seen to best effect. Attention is called to the rather sharp ridges. In the 1000X version of this picture, these ridges seem to be superficial to the basic cell structure. In life this root section had emerged slightly from its substrate (partial substrate collapse since planting) after which the section turned greenish rather than the usual white. The green color is probably mostly due to its own pigmentation, perhaps an indication that root cells can be induced to photosynthesize. In the 1000X close up, a few stray diatoms can be seen nestled in amongst the root cells. But these are not thought numerous enough to impart the green color, in themselves. Note that the older root appears more intact and turgid compared with the middle aged section. By "viable root" is meant that this section would likely be able to regenerate a new plant, if cultured.

Aroid SEM Hom Page. Green older root section, 140 X magnification. Middle aged viable Cryptocoryne root, 140 X magnification.
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This page was created by Scott Hyndman for the I.A.S. on August 29, 2002.