I always wondered, why some vegetables are harsh in texture and feel something prickly in throat on eating. The answer came from my tiny, pocket friend – foldscope.
A leaf was plucked from the brinjal plant growing in my kitchen garden to study the coarse and rough surface under a foldscope. Stellate trichomes were observed on the surface of egg plant leaf.
Trichomes are epidermal protuberances on aerial parts of plant, that protect plant from excess transpiration, high temperature, and herbivore attack (Wagner et al., 2004). The morphology of trichomes is probably useful in distinguishing the various species of Solanum – a feature helpful in taxonomy.
(3rd Semester, GGDSD College, Chandigarh)
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