Aerenchyma gas spaces are important for plants that grow in flooded and anaerobic sites or habitats, because these gas spaces provide an internal pathway for oxygen transport. The objective of this study is to characterize the development of aerenchyma gas spaces and observe the porosity in roots of Sonneratia alba. Tissue at different developmental stages was collected from four root types, i.e. cable root, pneumatophore, feeding root and anchor root, of S. alba. In S. alba, gas space is schizogenously produced in all root types, and increases in volume from the root meristem to mature root tissues. The aerenchyma formation takes place immediately, or 3-5 mm behind the root apex. At first, cortical cells are relatively round in cross sections (near the root apex); they then become two kinds of cells, rounded and armed, which combine together, forming intercellular spaces behind the root apex. The average dimensions of cortical cells increased more than 1.3 times in the vertical direction and over 3.3 times in the horizontal direction. At maturity, aerenchyma gas spaces are long tuberous structures without diaphragms and with numerous small pores on the lateral walls. Within the aerenchyma, many sclereids grow intrusively. Root porosity in all root types ranged from 0-60%. Pneumatophores and cable roots had the highest aerenchyma area (50-60%).
- Cortical cells
- Sonneratia alba