Leaf morphology and anatomy are crucial for understanding medicinal plants for the treatment of a range of microbial infections. The most commonly used part of the plant is the leaf especially in the study of antimicrobial activity. However our understanding of botanical identification in relation to pharmaceutical use is not fully understood. Interestingly, palisade parenchyma is one of the most important criteria in plant biology for understanding leaf organization. It is the tissue specialized in the photosynthesis is the mesophyll. The mesophylls are often described as the palisade (pole shaped).
Cross-section of a leaf
What are palisade cells?
Palisade cells are cells that are found in the mesophyll layer of the dicotyledonous plants especially within the leaves. The mesophyll layer is called the middle layer as it is present between the upper and lower layers of epidermis. Palisade cells have chloroplasts, the organelles present in plant cells capable of converting light into energy in the form of Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP).
Structurally, palisade cells are cylindrical and elongated in shape in order for light to be captured and absorbed by chloroplasts. That is the reason why palisade cells are placed at upper layer of the leaf to allow maximum conversion of light into energy. In addition, this is the reason why the upper layers of the leaf are greener than the lower regions. Additionally, these cells contain more carbohydrates than compared to other cells that are then utilized by other cells for metabolic activities.
Bifacial leaf cross section of a lead
Sections of a leaf
Cuticle: the thin superficial skin of a leaf
Upper epidermis: the outer layer of the leaf
Spongy mesophyll: the ball-shaped cells responsible for forming the central layer of the leaf
Guard cell: part of the stoma responsible for controlling gas exchange and loss of water
Lower epidermis: lower layer of the leaf
Stoma: the pore present in the leaf and stem epidermis for gas exchange
Phloem: conductive tissue that carries organic nutrients
Xylem: responsible for the conduct of water and nutrients
Vein: transports food and water throughout the leaf in addition to providing support
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