Palms do not undergo secondary stem lengthening: a response to Renninger and Phillips

Tomlinson, P. Barry, and Quinn, Christopher J. (2013) Palms do not undergo secondary stem lengthening: a response to Renninger and Phillips. American Journal of Botany, 100 (3). pp. 461-464.

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Woody stems that have completed some maturation of metaxylem elements should not be capable of further axial extension ("secondary stem lengthening"). However, this mechanism has been claimed by Renninger and Phillips (American Journal of Botany 99: 607–613) to be a feature of the palm Iriartea deltoidea. In response, we describe structural features of palm stems based on extensive known features of their anatomy and development. In addition to the inability of metaxylem vessels to extend after they are mature, fully differentiated fibers of the vascular bundle sheath, which would exist at the time of proposed stem elongation would not be capable of belated extension. "Vessel spirals" claimed by these authors to be capable of stretching to accommodate secondary stem lengthening does not refer to well-established features of the course of vascular bundles. The approach adopted by Renninger and Phillips simply measures stems of different sizes as an implied developmental series. Consequently, results do not take into account changes in the development of the palm stem as it ages. The existence of secondary stem lengthening in the palm Iriartea deltoidea, something never before observed in any tree, cannot occur because it would indeed disrupt mature metaxylem vessels and would also require the secondary extension of mature lignified fibers.

Item ID: 38046
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1537-2197
Keywords: Arecaeae, Irartea palms, primary growth, secondary growth, stem development
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2015 23:10
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060703 Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 80%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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