Chin Bull Bot ›› 2015, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (2): 227-233.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1259.2015.00227

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Comparison of the Characters and Distribution of Vessel Elements in Xylem Among Three Main Pear Rootstocks in China

Xingguang Dong, Yufen Cao*, Kun Wang, Luming Tian, Ying Zhang, Dan Qi   

  1. Research Institute of Pomology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Ministry of Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Horticultural Crops Germplasm Resources Utilization, Xingcheng 125100, China
  • Received:2014-03-20 Accepted:2014-08-25 Online:2015-04-10 Published:2015-03-01
  • Contact: Cao Yufen
  • About author:

    ? These authors contributed equally to this paper


The characteristics and distribution of vessel elements in xylem of three main pear rootstocks (Pyrus ussuriensis, P. betuleafolia, P. calleryana) in China were examined by tissue isolation, paraffin sectioning and biometric statistics. The pattern of secondary wall thickening and lignification, pitting pattern, main types of perforation plates and proportion of tail, end walls, and tail length of vessel elements did not differ among the species. However, the proportion of vessel elements with multiperforate perforation and two tapered end walls and vessel frequency were higher in P. ussuriensis and in P. betuleafolia than P. calleryana. The diameter of vessel elements and specific conductivity were higher in P. calleryana than in P. ussuriensis and P. betuleafolia. Morphological structure and ecological adaptability are correlated in Pyrus varieties in different habitats. The vessel elements of pear rootstock species from south China are shorter in length and broader in diameter, which appears to directly affect hydraulic conductance capacity and therefore may be suitable for conducting water with high efficiency. The vessel elements of pear rootstock species from north China are longer in length and smaller in diameter with higher vessel frequency, which may help for conducting water safely.

Figure 1

The morphological comparison of vessel element in the xylem of three pear rootstocks (A) Number of tail; (B) Length of tail; (C) Shape of end walls"

Figure 2

Vessel element shape in three pear rootstocks (A), (D), (K) Both end tapered, and tails at both end; (B) One end flat, the other tapered and no tail; (C), (H), (L) Both end flat, and tail at one end; (E), (G) Both end tapered, and tail at one end; (F) One end flat, the other tapered, and tail at both end; (I), (M) Both ends tapered, and no tail; (J) One end flat, the other tapered and tail at one end; (N) With double perforation plates"

Table 1

Comparison of the length, diameter, porosity and frequency of vessel element in three pear rootstocks"

Variety The length of vessel element (μm) The diameter of vessel element (μm) The ratio of length to diameter Xylem porosity
Vessel frequency (Number∙mm-2)
Pyrus ussuriensis 304.51 a 35.69 b 8.92 a 21.46 a 440.75 a
P. betuleafolia 286.08 a 33.29 c 8.99 a 20.99 a 405.88 ab
P. calleryana 253.32 b 39.51 a 6.66 b 23.41 a 345.85 b

Figure 3

Frequency of length (A) and diameter (B) of vessel element in three pear stock stems"

Figure 4 The cross section of xylem of three pear rootstocks (A) Pyrus ussuriensis; (B) P. betuleafolia; (C) P. calleryana "

Figure 5

Specific conductivity of xylem of three pear rootstocks"

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