Grass nodes play an essential role as interfaces between leaf and stem. The description of the bundle course in nodes considerably contributes to understanding of the transport of assimilates, minerals, and xenobiotics in grasses. Nodes and internodes of 38 species of the subfamilies Arundinoideae, Bambusoideae, Panicoideae, and Pooideae were analyzed histologically. Free-hand sections, various staining techniques, macro- and microphotography were used to reveal a few principles underlying their anatomy. In all grass species, specific nodal zones were found in which many vascular bundles undergo characteristic transformations. This transformation starts with the augmentation of xylem in lower nodal areas and continues with the formation of specific amphivasal structures providing connections with the leaf attached to the node. The anatomy of these strands, herein called vasotubuli, has not much in common with vascular bundles in internodes any more. Transverse nodal plexus strands provide many connections between bundles and vasotubuli. The nodal plexus is also an interface of sclerenchyma bundles. The nodes of most grass species are constructed very similarly with a few exceptions: the nodes of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Steud. for example have something in common with bamboo: they develop spindle-like glomeruli.
Arber A (1934): The Gramineae. Cambridge University Press (reprint 2010), Cambridge.
Ayensu ES (1972): Anatomy of the monocotyledons. VI. Dioscoreales. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Bell AD (1976a): The vascular pattern of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) 2. Development of the seedling axis to maturity. Annals of Botany, 40, 233–240.
Bell AD (1976b): The vascular pattern of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) 3. The leaf trace system, and tiller insertion, in the adult. Annals of Botany, 40, 241–250.
Bell AD, Wynn Parry D (1976): The vascular pattern of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) 1. The young seedling and its variability. Annals of Botany, 40, 223–232.
DeMason DA (1994): Stem thickening in monocotyledons. In: Iqbal M (ed.): Growth patterns in vascular plants. Dioscorides Press, Portland, 288–310.
Esau K (1943): Ontogeny of the vascular bundle in Zea mays. Hilgardia, 15, 327–368.
Fahn A (1990): Plant anatomy. Pergamon Press, New York.
Forster BP, Franckowiak JD, Lundqvist U, Lyon J, Pitkethly I, Thomas WTB (2007): The barley phytomer. Annals of Botany, 100, 725–733.
Fournier C, Andrieu B (2000): Dynamics of the elongation of internodes in maize (Zea mays L.): analysis of phases of elongation and their relationships to phytomer development. Annals of Botany, 86, 551–563.
Geeta R (2016): KNOX genes and shoot development in angiosperms: old actors in new roles? Phytomorphology, 66, 57–69.
Hitch PA, Sharman BC (1971): The vascular pattern of festucoid grass axes with particular reference to nodal plexi. Botanical Gazette, 132, 38–56.
Hoshikawa K (1989): The growing rice plant – an anatomical monograph. Nobunkyo, Tokyo.
Kraehmer H (2016): Atlas of weed mapping. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
Kraehmer H, Baur P (2013): Weed anatomy. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
Kumazawa M (1942): The origin and structure of the nodal plexus of Zea mays. I. Vascular anatomy in maize. IV. The Botanical Magazine Tokyo, 56, 528–536.
Kumazawa M (1946): Vascular anatomy in maize. V. The developmental order of the vascular system, together with the course of compound and outermost peripheral bundles in the system of Zea mays. The Botanical Magazine Tokyo, 59, 42–52.
Kumazawa M (1961): Studies on the vascular course in maize plant. Phytomorphology, 11, 128–139.
Lersten NR (1987): Morphology and anatomy of the wheat plant. In: Heyne EG (ed.): Wheat and wheat improvement. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, 33–113.
Liese W (1998): The anatomy of bamboo culms. International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Technical report No. 18, Beijing.
O’Brien TP, Zee S-Y (1971): Vascular transfer cells in the vegetative nodes of wheat. Australian Journal of Biological Sciences, 24, 207–217.
Patrick JW (1972a): Vascular system of the stem of the wheat plant. I. Mature state. Australian Journal of Botany, 20, 49–63.
Patrick JW (1972b): Vascular system of the stem of the wheat plant. II. Development. Australian Journal of Botany, 20, 65–78.
Peng G, Jiang Z, Liu X, Fei B, Yang S, Qin D, Ren H, Yu Y, Xie H (2014): Detection of complex vascular system in bamboo node by X-ray μCT imaging technique. Holzforschung, 68, 223–227.
Pizzolato TD (2000): A systematic view of the development of vascular systems in culms and inflorescences of grasses. In: Jacobs SWL, Everett J (eds): Grasses: systematics and evolution. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, 8–28.
Shane MW, McCully ME, Canny MJ (2000): The vascular system of maize stems revisited: implications for water transport and xylem safety. Annals of Botany, 86, 245–258.
Sharman BC (1942): Developmental anatomy of the shoot of Zea mays L. Annals of Botany, 6, 245–284.
Stover EL (1934): Development and differentiation of tissues in the stem tips of grasses. Ohio Journal of Science, 24, 150–160.
Tomlinson PB (1995): Non-homology of vascular organisation in monocotyledons and dicotyledons. In: Rudall PJ, Cribb PJ, Cutler DF, Humphries CJ (eds): Monocotyledons: systematics and evolution. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 589–622.
Wacker R (2006): Eine neue und einfache Methode zur polychromatischen Anfärbung von Paraffinschnitten pflanzlicher Gewebe für Durchlicht- und Fluoreszenzmikroskopie. Mikrokosmos, 4, 210–212.
Yamaji N, Ma JF (2009): A transporter at the node responsible for intervascular transfer of silicon in rice. Plant Cell, 21, 2878–2883.
Yamaji N, Ma JF (2014): The node, a hub for mineral nutrient distribution in graminaceous plants. Trends in Plant Science, 19, 556–563.
Zimmermann MH, Tomlinson PB (1972): The vascular system of monocotyledonous stems. Botanical Gazette, 133, 141–155.