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William M. Walter Jr., Betsy Randall-Schadel, and William E. Schadel

Wound healing in cucumber fruit (Cucumis sativus L., cv. Calypso) was studied using histological and degradative techniques. A thick exudate appeared at the wounded surface shortly after wounding. This material retarded water loss and possibly aided in the formation of sclerified parenchyma observed 24 hours after wounding. The sclerified material was positive to a modified Weisner stain, indicating lignification was occurring. Wound periderm (cork) was initiated directly beneath the sclerified parenchyma cells within 48 hours after wounding. The cork layers were positive to Sudan IV stain, indicating suberin was being formed. The rate of phellem development decreased by 6 days after wounding. By day 7, younger phellem cells and sclerified parenchyma cells were stained by Sudan IV. Degradation of the wound tissue by chemical procedures demonstrated that relatively large amounts of lignin and suberin were deposited during healing. Fragments from the lignin degradation Indicated that lignin was composed mainly of gualacyl and p-hydroxyphenyl residues. Suberin was found to contain mainly 1,16-hexadecane and 1,18-osctadecene decarboxylic acids detected as the silylated diol derivatives.