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Cuticular thickness and water permeability

Posted by gentsci on 03 Sep 2013 at 16:08 GMT

The articles states that "the thickening of the cuticle, mainly by means of wax accumulation, helps reducing non-stomatal transpiration" and gives a review of mine as the reference. The statement is wrong. Cuticle thickness is determined almost completely by an insoluble polymer network in and on which waxes are located, and it has generallly no relation to its permeability to water--a point that is emphasised in my review. One might argue, technically correctly, that accumulation of waxes on the outside of the cuticle marginally increases overall cuticle thickness, but I don't think that is what the authors had in mind. Yes, the waxes both inside and on the surface of cuticles are of utmost importance for cuticular resistance to water transport, but one should best leave cuticular thickness out of the argument.

No competing interests declared.