Qualitative Anatomical Characteristics of the Virgin Cork in Quercus variabilis Grown in Korea
Keywords:Cork cells, Dark-brown zone, Lenticular channel, Parenchyma cell, Prismatic crystal, Quercus suber, Quercus variabilis, Reproduction cork, Sclereid, Virgin cork
To provide information on the identification and quality evaluation of Q. variabilis virgin cork from Korea, the qualitative anatomical characteristics of the virgin cork were observed by optical and scanning electron microscopy and compared with those of Q. suber reproduction cork from Portugal. Q. variabilis showed a narrower growth ring than Q. suber. A dark-brown zone with sclereids was found only in Q. variabilis cork. The lenticular channel in Q. variabilis is larger than that in Q. suber. Q. variabilis virgin cork showed a distinct growth ring boundary and an abrupt transition from earlycork to latecork with a few rows of latecork cells. Q. suber reproduction cork showed an indistinct growth ring with a gradual transition from one to two rows of latecork cells. In the earlycork, Q. suber showed mild corrugation, while Q. variabilis displayed significant corrugation with collapsed and distorted cork cells. The lenticular channel in Q. variabilis virgin cork was surrounded by thick-walled cells filled with compact lenticular filling tissue. Q. suber reproduction cork had an opening with loose lenticular filling tissue surrounded by thick-walled cells. Prismatic crystals, thick-walled sclereid cells, and fiber-sclereids were found only in Q. variabilis. A few trabeculae were found in both cork samples.