LM of biogenic silica in horsetail

LM of biogenic silica in horsetail

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Credit: POWER AND SYRED/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph of a section of the horsetail Equisetum arvensis showing internal deposits of silica (the yellow features). This biogenic silica is taken up in solution from the surrounding soil and then distributed throughout the plant, in sites such as the cell walls, in amorphous (non- crystalline) form. Its function may be to provide structural support since the cell walls of this primitive plant are quite thin and non-lignified. If the soft tissues are removed using acid then a fragile, skeletal structure of silica remains virtually intact. The plant used to be called 'scouring rush' because of the abrasive qualities of its fibres. Magnification: x400 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: biogenic, biogenic silica, biogenic silica in horsetail, botany, equisetum arvense, horsetail, light micrograph, nature, plant, pteridophyte, pteridophytes, silica

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