Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Apical intrusive growth of cambial fusiform initials along the tangential walls of adjacent fusiform initials: evidence for a new concept

Joanna Jura A , Paweł Kojs A B , Muhammad Iqbal C , Joanna Szymanowska-Pułka D and Wiesław Włoch A B E

A Botanical Garden—Centre for Biological Diversity Conservation of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Prawdziwka 2, 02-973 Warszawa 76, Poland.

B Department of Biosystematics, University of Opole, Oleska 22, 40-052 Opole, Poland.

C Department of Botany, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University), Tughlaqabad, New Delhi-110062, India.

D Department of Biophysics and Cell Biology, Silesian University, Jagiellońska 28, 40-032 Katowice, Poland.

E Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Journal of Botany 54(5) 493-504
Submitted: 27 July 2005  Accepted: 2 February 2006   Published: 3 August 2006


A new study of cambium of Pinus sylvestris L., Tilia cordata Mill. and Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC provides fresh clues on the cambial dynamics, rejecting the hitherto held concept that intrusive growth of the fusiform initial occurs between the radial walls of adjacent initials. It demonstrates that intrusion of the elongating initial in fact takes place along tangential walls of adjacent fusiform initials and their immediate derivatives. It also suggests a new mechanism for ‘elimination of initials’. Intrusive growth of the fusiform initial was found to begin with development of characteristic slants, representing a transitional stage of the process of transformation of periclinal walls of fusiform initial cells into radial walls, as observed in transverse sections of active cambium. The gradually progressing event comprised (a) appearance of either a triangular microspace limited by two periclinal walls of a fusiform initial and its derivative and one radial wall of another fusiform initial in the adjacent radial file, or a rhomboidal microspace enclosed by four periclinal walls of two laterally adjacent fusiform initials and their immediate derivatives, (b) intrusion of elongating tip of fusiform initial from neighbouring file into the microspace thus formed, (c) symplastic growth of the cambial cell walls in radial direction, (d) unequal periclinal divisions of fusiform initial cells while growing intrusively, and (e) unequal periclinal divisions of derivative cells not growing intrusively. Intrusive growth between periclinal walls affected rearrangement of the fusiform initials but did not add to the cambial circumference. The existing concepts of (a) intrusion of the fusiform initial between radial walls of neighbouring initials and (b) elimination of fusiform initials from cambial surface have been reassessed and redefined.


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