Abstract Although the consumption of açaí (Euterpe oleracea) pulp has long been an important component of the diet of the peoples from the Amazon, the açaí palm tree has recently attracted economic and scientific interest because of its vast array of bioactive compounds found in the fruit pericarp. The açaí seeds are the largest byproduct after pulp extraction and have potential for use in ethanol production, but this process is hindered by limited knowledge of seed biology, chemical composition and pattern reserve deposition during seed development. The aim of this work was to describe the morphoanatomical development of the seeds, as well as to identify the main organic compounds stored in the seeds. To achieve this goal, histological and histochemical analyses were performed on developing seeds. Results showed the seed is albuminous, bitegmic and that ingrowths of the seed coat give rise to a ruminate endosperm. Moreover, the nutritive reserves of açaí seeds are found in the endosperm thickened cell walls as reserve polysaccharides. Our findings provide information for future studies dealing with reproductive biology, propagation and the improvement of this profitable crop.
Resumo Embora o consumo de açaí (Euterpe oleracea) seja há tempos um importante componente da dieta dos povos amazônicos, o açaizeiro tem recentemente atraído tanto o interesse econômico quanto científico devido à presença de urna vasta gama de compostos bioativos encontrados no pericarpo de seus frutos. As sementes de açaí representam o principal subproduto após a extração da polpa e podem ser potencialmente utilizadas para a produção de etanol, mas esse processo é dificultado pelo conhecimento limitado sobre a biología das sementes, sua composição química e a deposição de reserva de padrões durante o desenvolvimento das sementes. O objetivo deste trabalho é descrever o desenvolvimento morfoanatômico das sementes, bem como identificar os principais compostos orgânicos armazenados nas sementes. Para atingir esse objetivo, foram realizadas análises histológicas e histoquímicas das sementes em desenvolvimento. Os resultados revelaram que a semente é albuminosa, bitegmica e que tegumento interno da semente dá origem as ruminações do endosperma. Além disso, os resultados indicam que as reservas nutritivas das sementes de açaí são encontradas nas paredes celulares espessadas pelo endosperma na forma de polissacarídeos de reserva. Nossas descobertas fornecem informações úteis para futuros estudos sobre biología reprodutiva, propagação e melhoria de uma cultura tao lucrativa.
Abstract Contamination of water sources due to herbicide is of great concern. Clomazone is a pesticide with a high contamination potential which could possibility lixiviate to water streams. Changes caused by residual herbicide include flora modifications which are generally detrimental for some species. The lack of morphological studies performed in aquatic plants exposed to herbicide-contaminated environments has encouraged the development of our research. For the first time, we present a study that aimed to evaluate leaf injuries visible to the naked eye as well as microscopical effects which may be caused by clomazone on Pistia stratiotes. Pistia stratiotes was subjected to five concentrations of clomazone. Our analysis showed leaf injuries, especially after 15 days of clomazone application. Hormesis was observed when the water lettuce was subjected to the lower concentrations. Total leaf area showed increase following by reduction while injured until reaching the highest concentration. Although the concentrations of clomazone tested in our study are not lethal to water lettuce, such herbicide have still caused morphoanatomical damages on leaves which advocates for the use of P. stratiotes as a bioindicator of the presence of herbicides such as clomazone in water.
ABSTRACT Nectaries are specialized structures that secrete nectar. Several species of Chamaecrista possess nectaries on the petiole, which have been shown to vary widely in morphology and the chemical nature of their secretion. However, a comprehensive investigation of the nectaries of the clade formed by sect. Chamaecrista, Caliciopsis and Xerocalyx has yet to be performed. Our study aimed to confirm whether or not the leaf glands of species of this clade are in fact nectaries, determine the chemical nature of their secretion and expand the morphoanatomical database on leaf nectaries in Chamaecrista with the intention of contributing to the taxonomy and phylogeny of the genus. Samples from herbarium and field-collected material were subjected to standard methods for light and scanning electron microscopy. Four different forms of nectaries were observed: urceolate, patelliform, verruciform and cupuliform. The nectaries were found to comprise a single-layered epidermis, nectary parenchyma, subnectary parenchyma and vascularization. Polysaccharides, lipids, phenolic compounds and proteins were detected in secretions. Although anatomical similarities were observed among the studied species, their morphology differed. Moreover, the glands are indeed nectaries and are similar to those observed in other species of the genus Chamaecrista. These data hold potential taxonomic usefulness for the studied sections.
ABSTRACT The genus Chamaecrista contains ca. 330 species organized into six sections, of which section Chamaecrista is the second largest (ca.75 species) distributed among six series, while the section Caliciopsis contains only two species. Colleters have been described in the genus Chamaecrista and they show potential taxonomic and phylogenetic significance. They are associated with lubrication, desiccation prevention and protection from microbial attacks of young developing organs. Although six types of colleters have been described for the genus Chamaecrista, there have been no studies focusing on the diversity of colleters in the sections Chamaecrista and Caliciopsis. Samples from developing leaves and flowers of both sections were obtained from herbarium and field collections and subjected to standard methodologies for both light and scanning electron microscopy. Histochemical tests were also performed to determine the nature of the exudates. Five types of non-vascularized colleters were found: short digitiform, long digitiform, club-shaped, pyriform and short bottle-shaped. Polysaccharides, pectins, lipids and proteins were detected in the exudates of all types of colleters. Among the five types of colleters observed, pyriform is a novelty for Chamaecrista, reinforcing the significant morphological diversity of these secretory structures in this genus.
ABSTRACT Little attention has been paid to species of Chamaecrista sect. Apoucouita (Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae), especially regarding anatomical studies. When only vegetative material is available, the identification of such species may be difficult. Additionally, vegetative material of some species of C. sect. Apoucouita may be even harder to identify because they can resemble species of Inga Mill. (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae). The present study focused on recognizing morphoanatomical characters of leaves that are taxonomically useful for the species of C. sect. Apoucouita by employing standard anatomical techniques. The arrangement of the vascular system in the petiole/rachis, dorsiventral mesophyll, mucilage idioblasts in the epidermis of leaflets and hypostomatic leaves were some of the characters shared by all species studied. Length of the petiole, position and type of extrafloral nectaries, leaflet venation, presence and type of papillae on the epidermis of the leaflet blades and sclereids in the mesophyll were some of the characters useful in the distinction of taxa. The vascular arrangement of the petiole/rachis is a promising character in the distinction of species of C. sect. Apoucouita and Inga. Based on morphoanatomical data, the taxonomic revision of some species and varieties ascribed to C. sect. Apoucouita is suggested.