Introduction

The main functions of leaves are to capture light for photosynthesis, which makes carbohydrates from CO2 and water. Leaves also perform other functions such as storing food and water and protecting some plants from animals. Generally, a leaf is anatomized as three main structures [1]. As shown in Figure 16.1, the outermost layer of leaf is the epidermis, which is covered by waxy cuticle to prevent water loss. The primary area of photosynthesis in a leaf is in a layer of specialized parenchyma cells called mesophyll. Two types of mesophyll cells are commonly found in a leaf: (a) palisade mesophyll cells with generally rectangular rows located at the upper surface and (b) spongy mesophyll with uneven shapes located at the lower surface. All leaves contain vascular systems that consist of many veins (xylem and phloem) separated from mesophyll by bundle sheath and that function as the transport system for water and minerals throughout the plant. The veins in monocots leaves are parallel to each other, whereas the veins in dicots leaves form branched networks.

Plant Proteomics: Technologies, Strategies, and Applications. Edited by G. K. Agrawal and R. Rakwal Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Vein

Vein

Bundle sheath cell

Xylem

Phloem

Cuticle

-Upper epidermis

Palisade mesophyll cell

Cuticle

FIGURE 16.1. The anatomic structure of plant leaf.

Cuticle

4— Lower epidermis

Spongy mesophyll cells

Bundle sheath cell

Xylem

Phloem

Cuticle

-Upper epidermis

Palisade mesophyll cell

FIGURE 16.1. The anatomic structure of plant leaf.

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