The primary walls of epidermal cells in Avena coleoptiles ranging in length from 2 to 40 mm. have been studied in the electron and polarizing microscopes and by the low-angle scattering of x-rays. The outer walls of these cells are composed of multiple layers of cellulose microfibrils oriented longitudinally; initially the number of layers is between 10 and 15 but this increases to about 25 in older tissue. Where epidermal cells touch, these multiple layers fuse gradually into a primary wall of the normal type between cells. In these radial walls, the microfibrils are oriented transversely. Possible mechanisms for the growth of the multilayered outer wall during cell elongation are discussed.
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Copyright, 1957, by The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research