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ULTRASTRUCTURE AND RECRYSTALLIZATION OF PLANT EPICUTICULAR WAXES

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SUMMARY

A wick feed method was used to recrystallize a range of different plant epicuticular waxes from solutions in organic solvents. Using the scanning electron microscope the ultrastructure of the recrystallized wax from each species was compared with that of the wax on the corresponding intact plant surface and in many cases was found to be similar. It is concluded that the crystal structure of epicuticular waxes is greatly influenced by their inherent chemical and physical properties rather than by properties of the underlying cuticular membrane or by any mechanism of extrusion or transport of the wax to the plant surface.

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