Leaf vasculature in Zea mays L

Planta. 1985 Jul;164(4):448-58. doi: 10.1007/BF00395960.


The vascular system of the Zea mays L. leaf consists of longitudinal strands interconnected by transverse bundles. In any given transverse section the longitudinal strands may be divided into three types of bundle according to size and structure: small, intermediate, large. Virtually all of the longitudinal strands intergrade structurally however, from one bundle type to another as they descend the leaf. For example, all of the strands having large-bundle anatomy appear distally as small bundles, which intergrade into intermediates and then large bundles as they descend the leaf. Only the large bundles and the intermediates that arise midway between them extend basipetally into the sheath and stem. Most of the remaining longitudinal strands of the blade do not enter the sheath but fuse with other strands above and in the region of the blade joint. Despite the marked decrease in number of longitudinal bundles at the base of the blade, both the total and mean cross-sectional areas of sieve tubes and tracheary elements increase as the bundles continuing into the sheath increase in size. Linear relationships exist between leaf width and total bundle number, and between cross-sectional area of vascular bundles and both total and mean cross-sectional areas of sieve tubes and tracheary elements.