Micromorphology of cactus-pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill) cladodes based on scanning microscopies. uri icon


  • Cladode ultrastructural features of two prickly and two spineless Opuntia ficus-indica cultivars were examined using environmental scanning electron and atomic force microscopies. Observations focused on cladode as well as spine and glochid surface micromorphologies. Prickly cultivars were characterized by abundant cracked epicuticular wax deposits covering the cladode surface, with an amorphous structure as observed by AFM, while less abundant waxy plates were observed by ESEM on spineless cultivar cladodes. Further AFM observations allowed a rough granular and crystalloid epicuticular wax structure to be distinguished in spineless cultivars. Regarding spine micromorphology, prickly cultivars had strong persistent spines, observed by ESEM as a compact arrangement of oblong epidermal cells with a rough granular structure. However, deciduous spines in spineless cultivars had a broken transversely fissured epidermis covering a parallel arrangement of fibres. Through AFM, the deciduous spine surface presented an irregular hilly and smooth microrelief while persistent spines exhibited rough helical filamentous prints.
  • ESEM and AFM studies of cladode surfaces from prickly and spineless cactus pear cultivars revealed valuable micro-morphological details that ought to be extended to a large number of O. ficus-indica cultivars. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014