cuticle reduction

Tony Travis ajt at
Mon Nov 22 06:26:13 EST 1993

Rick Boyce (Richard.L.Boyce at edu.dartmouth) wrote:
: In article <s1091865.15.2CEBCF28 at>
: s1091865 at (Andrew Smith) writes:

: [...]
: I'm not familiar with soybean cuticles.  However, I suspect that your
: treatment is removing epicuticular wax rather than the cuticle proper. 
: That would reduce cuticular resistance to water loss significantly. 
: Any other plant cuticle types care to comment?  For a good though
: somewhat dated reference, try Martin and Juniper's 1970 book, The Plant
: Cuticle.

The reason for the 'white' appearance of (usually the underside) of
leaves is the rough surface presented by epi-cuticular wax deposits. 
This gives a high diffusion resistance by extending the 'boundary'
layer of still air close to the leaf.

The rubbing treatment described may be 'polishing' (hence the 'slik'
fingers) the wax surface rather than simply removing wax and thus
changing the resistance of the leaf to water loss dramatically.

Another possibility is that the finger pressure needed to 'rub' is
sufficient to damage the delicate internal network of air-spaces within
the leaf?

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  JANET: <ajt at>
Rowett Research Institute,            |  other: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  phone: +44 (0)224 712751
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |    fax: +44 (0)224 715349

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