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APPLICATION OF THE SESIN-CASTING METHOD TO THE STUDY OF THE VESSEL LUMENS OF XYLEM

Zhang Xiujun, Meng Lijun, Fan Yongjun, Luo Lixin, Wu Shuming (Department of Biology, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300071)  
The vessel lumens of five species belong to shrubs and lianas were studied by applying a resin casting method. Dry blocks from stems were embedded in polystyrene and then cell wall were completely removed by alternate and repeated treatments with hydrogen peroxide/ice acetic acid solution and sulphuric acid. Long casts of vessels and vessel elements were easily separated. These can be examined with light microscope or dissecting microscope. Casts have such high fidelity and high resolution that details of pits canals, pits chambers, helical thickness, vessel tips, trials and perforation plates can be studied.
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