Ultrastructures in stomata of Vicia faba and Allium porrum.

Photo credit: Google

Vicia faba (Fabaceae)

Ultrastructural observations on guard cells of Vicia faba and Allium porrum.

by Allaway W. G., Setterfield G. (1972)

in Can J Bot 50: 1405–1413 – 10.1139/b72-169 –

Google Scholar – 


Allium porrum ‘Musselburgh’ – http://www.deeproot.co.uk/photo/images360/a/Allium%20porrum%20’Musselburgh’.jpg


Stomata of Vicia faba and Allium porrum were examined in thin section with the electron microscope.

Guard cells contained numerous mitochondria, few plastids, and relatively small vacuoles traversed by many strands of cytoplasm. Spherosomes were often observed but were variable in occurrence. Endoplasmic reticulum and dictyosomes were present, although not well developed. Scattered microtubules were present at the periphery of the cells. Microbodies were very rarely observed in guard cells and no plasmodesmata were ever seen in the guard cell walls. Plastids were small and irregular in outline in guard cells of both species.

Guard cell plastids of V. faba contained abundant large starch granules. In both species thylakoids were few and grana were small in comparison with mesophyll plastids. The inner of the two bounding membranes of guard cell chloroplasts was extensively invaginated, forming a peripheral reticulum. This was not observed in mesophyll plastids of these species. Small groups of microtubule-like structures were often observed in V. faba guard cell plastids; microtubule-like structures were less frequent in A. porrum plastids, and were not in groups.

The structures described are compared with those of other epidermal cells and mesophyll cells, and are discussed in relation to guard cell physiology.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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