TAXONOMIC VALUE OF CALCIUM OXALATE CRYSTALS IN MUSA GERMPLASM
Epidermal and histological characterization of Musa species and cultivars were carried out to investigate the descriptor value of calcium oxalate between groups and subgroups of cultivars. Epidermal peels of the bracts of selected plantain and banana cultivars stained with 0.01% safranin solution and permanent mounts of microtometric sections of fruits, bracts and peduncles stained with hydrogen peroxide and silver nitrate were microscopically examined for their crystal content and features. Bract epidermal features discriminate between the ‘AAB’ plantains and ‘AAA’ bananas. The major form of occurrence of calcium oxalate in the vegetative and reproductive tissues is bundle raphide. The bract adaxial epidermis of bananas show the occurrence of raphide idioblasts which contain a bundle raphide each. The idioblasts and bundles are more-or-less absent in the plantain bracts. Calcium oxalate occurs in the fruit peel as bundle raphides and in the pulp as intra-amylar crystals. Histological characterization of Musa germplasm helps to elucidate the limits of diversity in the germplasm.
Osuji, J.O., Okoli, B.E. and Ortiz., R. (2000). TAXONOMIC VALUE OF CALCIUM OXALATE CRYSTALS IN MUSA GERMPLASM. Acta Hortic. 540, 137-146