Morpho-anatomical characterization of Eryngium yuccifolium (‘Rattlesnake-master’)
Dr. Vijayasankar Raman, Jane Manfron, Ikhlas Ahmed Khan
Peer-Review Journal – Microscopy Research and Technique
Clearing plant samples is beneficial to plant anatomy, morphology and evolution, physiology, and plant molecular and cellular biology studies. Traditional cleaning and staining techniques, also known as diaphanization for plant tissues, can be cumbersome and a meticulous process. Visikol for Plant Biology reagent effectively and efficiently renders the transparency of entire tissues to facilitate sample preparation for a biological study. Dr. Vijayasankar Raman, Jane Manfron Ph.D., and Ihklas Ahmed Khan Ph.D. recently published the first comprehensive study of Eryngium yuccifolium Michx. (Apiacae), a perennial herb, in which Visikol for Plant Biology was used during the preparation of clearing some E. yuccifolium samples for light microscopy, which contributed in aiding to derive its anatomical and histochemical properties.
Interestingly, E. yuccifolium is native to North America and is utilized for therapeutic purposes, whilst Eryngium species have been documented to demonstrate a variety of biological and pharmacological properties; the taxonomy and identification of the genus Eryngium are complex due to its extensive distribution and the presence of multiple species with morphological and genetic variations and integrating traits, Raman et al., note. In addition, the authors note that many names, such as ‘Eryngo’ and ‘Eryngo root,’ are frequently applied to several species of Eryngium, including E.yuccifolium, and because the species have similar appearances, it is difficult to distinguish between them. By using light and scanning microscopy, the identification of important characteristic of E.yuccifolium were discovered and highlighted in this study. Raman et al. used light and scanning electron microscopy to examine fresh E. yuccifolium samples from plants grown at the University of Mississippi’s Maynard W. Quimby Medicinal Plant Garden. Fresh samples were fixed for two days in formalin, acetic acid, and alcohol before being processed and imaged; moreover, histochemical analyses were done on leaf, stem, and root specimens to identify lignified components, lipophilic chemicals, phenolic compounds, and starch grains.
Furthermore, Raman et al., mention that microscopic measurements were obtained, including the size of the palisade, the number of stomata, and the stomata-to-palisade ratio. As previously stated, many samples were cleared using Visikol for Plant Biology, where E. yuccifolium leaf micromorphology, the adaxial and abaxial leaf epidermis, were observed. In addition, the presence of parallel leaf venation, collenchymatous pitch, and a central cavity in peduncles were noted; druses of calcium oxalate were found in all studied parts of E. yuccifolium; and abundant starch grains, protein bodies, and oil droplets were found in the root, according to Raman et al. Overall, this is one of the earliest microscopy reports for the species, and Raman et al., emphasize that such study can aid in taxonomy, species identification, and botanical quality control.
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