Cells, Specialized Types - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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Cells of the Ground Tissue System

Epidermal cells form the surface layer of the plant, the epidermis. Typical epidermal cells are flat and form a continuous sheet with no spaces between the cells. Each epidermal cell secretes a layer of the hydrophobic polymer cutin on the surface, which greatly reduces the amount of water lost by evaporation. Most epidermal cells also secrete waxes on the surface of the cutin, which further reduces transpiration, as well as wettability of the leaf surface. When you polish an apple, you are melting these surface waxes through friction. Epidermal cells of green leaves lack pigmented chloroplasts, allowing light to penetrate to the photosynthetic tissues within. Epidermal cells of petals often contain blue or red anthocynanin pigments within the vacuole or orange carotenoid pigments within the plastids, giving rise to the bright colors of many flowers.

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This section contains 1,292 words
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Cells, Specialized Types from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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