Structures and physiological functions of silica bodies in the epidermis of rice plants

Yamanaka, Shigeru; Takeda, Hiroyuki; Komatsubara, Satoshi; Ito, Fuyu; Usami, Hisanao; Togawa, Eiji; Yoshino, Katsumi
September 2009
Applied Physics Letters;9/21/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 12, p123703
Academic Journal
We characterized silica structures in the epidermis of rice plant leaves and investigated their physiological functions from optical and mechanical viewpoints. By treating the distribution of silica bodies as a triangular lattice in the xy plane, and performing a theoretical optical analysis on this lattice, we discovered that a reduction in the photonic density of states may inhibit leaves of rice plant from being heated markedly higher than 20 °C. Ladderlike structures in the epidermis were mechanically investigated. These structures are conjectured to inhibit flat leaves from undergoing twisting torsions, which may assist the leaf to absorb sunlight more effectively for photosynthesis.


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