American Journal of Botany 82(10): 1207-1214. 1995.
Eun Soo Kim & Paul G. Mahlberg
Department of Biology, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Korea;
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
Keywords: Cannabaceae, Cannabis, cuticle, gland, formation, subcuticular
Formation of the cuticle from components of the secretory cavity and subcuticular wall was studied by transmission electron microscopy of glandular trichomes of Cannabis prepared by high pressure cryofixation-cryosubstitution. Secretory vesicles in the secretory cavity resembled those localized in the subcuticular wall as well as the vesicle-related material associated with the irregular inner surface of the cuticle and appeared to provide precursors for thickening of the cuticle. Some contiguous vesicles in the secretory cavity and subcuticular wall lacked a surface feature at their point of contact, supporting an interpretation of vesicle fusion. Fibrillar matrix from the secretory cavity contributed fibrillar matrix to the subcuticular wall, and persisted as residual fibrillar matrix associated with secretory materials coalesced to the thickened inner surface of the cuticle. Elongated fibrils arranged in uniformly spaced parallel pairs contributed to the organization of fibrillar matrix in the subcuticular wall. Striae were evident in the outer portion of the cuticle, and appeared to represent sites of degraded residual fibrillar matrix associated with secretory materials coalesced to the inner cuticular surface. This study supports an interpretation that contents of secretory vesicles from the secretory cavity contribute to formation of glandular cuticle.