Anatomy of the fruit of the halophyte Crithmum maritimum L. with emphasis on the endosperm structure and histochemistry
The halophytes are plants that can survive and reproduce under high salinity. They show high potentiality as new crops plant for biosaline agriculture. Crithmum maritimum L. (Apiaceae) is one of the promising halophytes. In this paper, the endosperm structure of the fruit of this oilseeds halophyte was investigated using scanning electrons microscopy (SEM), light microscopy (LM) and fluorescence microscopy (FM). The fruit was composed of a spongy outer coat, a secretory envelope, a thin endocarp reduced to a unicellular layer delimiting the endosperm and an embryo. The endosperm cell appeared limited by thick cell wall and filled with numerous reserve globoids. The histochemical test showed that the cell wall of the endosperm was rich of carbohydrates as revealed by PAS (periodic acid-schiffs). Within the endosperm cells, there were mainly lipid bodies and protein bodies. The starch grains were less abundant. The protein bodies enclose crystal globoids. The x-ray microanalysis revealed that the reserve globoids accumulated mostly Mg, K, Ca, S and P. Taken together, these results highlight the structural features, the biochemical composition and confirm the nutritional quality of C. maritimum L. fruit.
Keys words: C. maritimum L., crystal globoids, the endosperm cells, histochemical test, protein bodies, x-ray microanalysis.