Sunday, March 3, 2019

Answer to Case 534

Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 534: Not a parasite; plant material. This is a neat finding since these structures (guard cells with stomatal pores) might be mistaken for parasite eggs such as Hymenolepis nana  due to their large size and morphologic features.

A quick biology review:
Guard cells are really neat. They are specialized cells in the epidermis of leaves and other parts of the plants that control gas exchange with the environment.They are produced in pairs and have a central opening called a stomatal pore. When a pair of guard cells are swollen (turgid) with water, the stomatal pore opens allowing carbon dioxide to flow in and oxygen (produced through photosynthesis) to flow out. While this gas exchange is essential to the plant, water is also lost through the stomatal pore; thus the plant has to balance the amount of CO2 absorbed from the environment with the amount of water lost through the pores.

Mary Parker kindly contributed the following image of stomata from the lower surface of an ash leaf and mentioned that "in a fresh sample as in the image, the plastids would contain greenish chlorophyll, but after gut transit, this would be lost."
Very cool! Thank you Mary!


Sir Galahad said...

Belle immagini, grazie! Gli stomi a volte possono sembrare, a prima vista, delle uova di parassita

Carlo Alberto Varlani

Old One said...

While visiting with one of our botanists who advised us on toxic plants, I happened to notice a plaque hanging behind her desk. It read " You don't have to have a brain to be a success, ask any plant"

Idzi P. said...

Thanks Dr. Pritt!
A very comprehensive explanation on these stomata!