Anatomical Studies of Two Jatropha Species with Importance for Biodiesel Production

  •  N. Tavecchio    
  •  H. Reinoso    
  •  M. Castiglione    
  •  C. Spanò    
  •  H. E. Pedranzani    


Jatropha curcas L. and Jatropha macrocarpa Griseb. (Euphorbiaceae) are perennial species adapted to marginal conditions not suitable for agriculture, and have been recently exploited for oil and biodiesel production. The anatomy of different organs in members of this family exhibits a wide range of variations. However, knowledge of anatomical features is still incomplete. The aim of the present work was to analyze the anatomical structure of stem, leaf and root of J. curcas and J. macrocarpa seedling cultivated in a greenhouse. Fixed samples were properly treated using triple stain hematoxylin, safranin and fast green. Primary roots were diarch and triarch in J. curcas, whereas in J. macrocarpa were diarch and the cortex showed parenchyma cells, larger in J. macrocarpa than J. curcas. Stem cortex was thicker in J. macrocarpa than in J. curcas. Both species had parenchyma cells with cystolith, chloroplasts, laticifers and starch granules, these being more abundant in J. macrocarpa. Leaves were characterized by dorsoventral anatomy, with the epiderm showing amphistomatic condition with high stomata density at the lower surface. Both Jatropha species had paracytic stomata. Druses and non-articulated branched laticifers were recorded in the mesophyll. Some of the different anatomical features of J. curcas and J. macrocarpa could explain the different tolerance to abiotic stress.

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