Leaf structure and histochemistry of Ficus carica (Moraceae), the fig tree


Mamoucha S, Fokialakis N, Christodoulakis NS. Leaf structure and histochemistry of Ficus carica (Moraceae), the fig tree. Flora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants [Internet]. 2016;218:24 - 34.


Heavily "armed" with trichomes, the hypostomatic leaf of Ficus carica L. is investigated with light and scanning electron microscopy. Histochemical tests were also applied to trace the secondary matabolites produced in the leaf of this well known, Mediterranean tree with the delicious fruits. Numerous idioblasts with crystals, laticifers and sized lythocysts appear within the compact mesophyll. Protective trichomes are located on both surfaces while capitate secretive hairs and stomata appear only abaxially. Stomata, concerning their magnitude, can be assembled in three size-groups in which the arrangement of their parastomatal cells differs as well. Histochemical reactions proved positive only for alkaloids within the laticifers and phenolic compounds, especially for the condensed tannins accumulated within the vacuole of the epidermal cells of this simply constructed leaf with unique features among the Mediterranean herbs. Comparison of GC-MS and LC-HRMS spectra of different extracts of the nerves and, separately, the rest of the leaf, revealed that coumarines such as umbeliferone, psoralen, bergapten and xanthotoxol are probably biosynthetically produced within the nerve area where the highly differentiated, main secretive apparatus of the leaf (laticifers) resides. That is why, these metabolites, are absent from the extracts of the undifferentiated cells derived from in vitro cultures. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.


Cited By :1Export Date: 7 February 2017CODEN: FLRABCorrespondence Address: Christodoulakis, N.S.; Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensGreece; email: nchristo@biol.uoa.grReferences: Baldini, E., Facini, O., Nerozzi, F., Leaf characteristics and optical properties of different woody species (1997) Trees-Struct. Funct., 12, pp. 73-81;Barolo, M.I., Mostacero, N.R., Lopez, S.N., Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): an ancient source of food and health (2014) Food Chem., 164, pp. 119-127; Bercu, R., Popoviciu, D.R., Anatomical study of Ficus carica L. leaf (2014) Ann. R.S.C.B., 19 (1), pp. 33-37; Berenbaum, M.R., Zangerl, A.R., Nitao, J.K., Constraints on chemical coevolution: wild parsnips and the parsnip webworm (1986) Evolution, 40, pp. 1215-1228; Berenbaum, M.R., Zangerl, A.R., Genetics of physiological and behavioral resistance to host furanocoumarins in the parsnip webworm (1992) Evolution, 46, pp. 1373-1384; Bourgaud, F., Gravot, A., Milesi, S., Gontier, E., Production of secondary metabolites: a historical perspective (2001) Plant Sci., 161, pp. 839-851; Can, H.Z., Aksoy, U., Seasonal and diurnal photosynthetic behaviour of fig (Ficus carica L.) under semi-arid climatic conditions (2007) Acta Agric. Scand. Sec. B-Soil Plant Sci., 57, pp. 297-306; Christodoulakis, N.S., An anatomical study of seasonal dimorphism in the leaves of Phlomis fruticosa (1989) Ann. Bot., 63, pp. 389-394; Christodoulakis, N.S., Mitrakos, K., Structural analysis of sclerophylly in eleven evergreen phanerophytes in Greece (1987) ASI Series. Plant Response to Stress, G15, pp. 547-551. , Springer Verlag, Berlin; Christodoulakis, N.S., Georgoudi, M., Fasseas, C., Leaf structure of Cistus creticus L. (rock rose), a medicinal plant widely used in folk remedies since ancient times (2014) J. Herbs Spices Med. Plants, 20, pp. 103-114; Christodoulakis, N.S., Kogia, D., Mavroeidi, D., Fasseas, C., Anatomical and cytochemical investigation on the leaf of Teucrium polium