Investigation of morphological and anatomical underground parts structure of genus Primula L. Cultivated species

A. V. Sinichenko, S. M. Marchyshyn, L. M. Sira, M. I. Lykanyuk


Topicality. There are more than 600 species of genus Primula L., it causes a great interest in modern medicine and pharmacy due to a wide range of pharmacotherapeutic action. Nowadays, primrose, as Primula veris and Primula elatior are recognized by official medicine and are the most researchable. All parts of the plant are considered to be officinal raw materials. However, scientific literature contains data on the healing properties of other primrose types such as Primula denticulata Smith, Primula juliae Kusn., Primula saxatilis Kom., which are now mainly used only in folk medicine. The scientific sources of literature do not have enough information about study of these species.
Aim. To study and conduct a comparative analysis of morphological and anatomical underground parts structure of drumstick primrose, Julia primrose, rock primrose, the establishment of their common and distinctive macro- and microscopic diagnostic features.
Materials and methods. The objects of investigation were rhizomes with the roots of the three cultivated species of the genus Primula L. (drumstick primrose – Primula denticulate Smith, Julia primrose – Primula juliae Kusn., rock primrose – Primula saxatilis Kom.), harvested in autumn (September-October 2016) at the scientific and research section of the Department of flower-ornamental plants M.M. Gryshko National botanical garden National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The investigation was conducted using generally accepted methods.
Results and discussion. Macroscopic analysis: the major features of Primula denticulata Smith are a shorter gray-brown rhizome with numerous appendages and lateral roots of varying color, length, diameter and density, depending on their age. External roots of the secondary homorous system are more powerful, and the central ones are young, soft, slightly branched; Primula juliae Kusn. – the rhizome is very short, it has a thick bunch of brown appendages roots, the rudiments of which occupy almost all area of the primary bark; Primula saxatilis com. – a very short rhizome with a thin, numerous appendage previous year’s and young roots. Microscopic analysis of drumstick primrose: the rhizome in a transverse section is round-lobed with many root appendages, the structure is secondary, without a beam. The storing parenchyma is suppressed, contains small starch grains. Leading tissues of an axial cylinder form a discontinuous circle with a small phloem. Xylem vessels are porous, with short segments and straight perforations. Frequent rounded pigmented cells. Larger idioblast have a thickened brown wall and contain a bright-red, light-brown and almost red secret. Occasionally there are single crystals of calcium oxalate of various shapes. Root: the shape of transverse sections is round-wavy. Cover tissue, formed by an exoderm, narrow, dark-brown. Mesoderm is a broad, multilayer, loose, lobate cell, with thickened cellulose membranes, contains small starch grains and single crystals of calcium oxalate. Parenchyma contains idioblast, filled with a secret of bright color – orange, red, light and dark-brown. The central cylinder is about a quarter of the diameter of the root, includes a cambial ring and conductive tissues. Microscopic analysis of Julia primrose: rhizome: central cylinder doesn’t have beam structure and mechanical tissues. Stocking tissue and conductive elements are poorly developed, starchy grains are almost absent. Very frequent secretory cells with palebrown or bright coloration. Root: appendages roots store the primary structure. The covering tissue of the roots is a single-layered exoderm, whose cells have a thickened, dark-brown external wall, and the cavities are filled with bright orange substance. Mesoderm is wide, well developed. The cells of the peripheral layers are smaller, with thickened cellulose membranes and pigmented contents. There are no specialized secretory structures with coloured contents and crystals of calcium oxalate. Microscopic analysis of rock primrose: rhizome: anatomical structure without a beam. Covering tissue is multilayered, dark-brown, includes secretory containers. The cells of the major parenchyma of the cortex and the leading part of the central cylinder are small, containing idioblast with a bright orange secretion. The phloem part from the xylem separates a narrow ring of low-active cambium. Frequent cells with orange secretion and mechanical tissues. The core is the largest part of the rhizome. The loose cells of the parenchyma are large round and angular, with porous membranes and small simple aleurones grains. Also, there are single or grouped fibers and secretory idioblast. Root: appendages roots are thin, preserve primary structures, due to insufficient cambial-pericyclic activity. Oneyear dying roots have a thin covering layer of exodermal origin, a 5-8-mesoderm layer, the endoderm is poorly expressed, its cells are small, rectangular, with somewhat thickened radial walls. The central part is the false core. In the old roots, the central cylinder is not clearly defined. The covering part is a multilayered, thick periderm with secretory cells, cavities and containers. Leading complexes are not clearly defined, including 6 beams, which consist of a limited number of primary vessels and secondary phloem, more advanced than in young roots.
Conclusions. As a result of conducted investigation, common and distinctive diagnostic morphological and anatomical features of underground parts structure of three cultivated species of genus Primula L. (drumstick primrose – Primula denticulate Smith, Julia primrose – Primula juliae Kusn., rock primrose – Primula saxatilis Kom.) were established, which will be used in drafting of quality control methodologies (MCQ) for new medicinal plant raw materials.


drumstick primrose; Julia primrose; rock primrose; rhizomes and roots; morphological and anatomical structure


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Abbreviated key title: Ukr. biopharm. j.

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