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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Mickle, James [1], Jordan, Chad [2], Phillips, Cathi [3], Magnuson, Cleo [3], Tredwell, David [3].

Development of a New Series of Animations Illustrating Processes of Secondary Growth in Stems.

The process of secondary growth in plants can be a difficult topic to convey to students. This typically is due to the fact that secondary growth is a dynamic process while the educational tools available for teaching this topic are static. Usually secondary growth is taught with two-dimensional illustrations or with short portions of tree trunks cut to demonstrate positions of the tissues. While these are useful, the dynamic developmental processes of secondary growth can be difficult for students to grasp with these static teaching tools. As part of the development of a distance education course in general botany, we have developed a series of animations depicting the processes of secondary growth in stems. The four animations show secondary growth over five seasons, from the point of primary tissues and initiation of the vascular and cork cambia to the end of the fifth season. The animations can be played through the five seasons, or stopped and started as the user wishes. Tissues are color-coded and cross-hatched for visually-impaired. Voice over and close-caption will be available. The first animation shows secondary growth on a cellular level and depicts division of the vascular cambium, illustrating radial and lateral divisions, showing the initiation of new radial files of transport cells as well as dormancy at the end of a season and resumption of growth at the beginning the subsequent season. The second animation shows secondary growth at the tissue level, illustrating a partial cross section of a stem. It begins with primary tissues and the initiation of the vascular cambium in Season 1 and depicts the development of secondary xylem and phloem, initiation of rays, initiation of cork cambia and cork, and development of bark. Sloughing off of outer primary tissues is illustrated. The third animation is similar to the second, but is on an organ level, showing the entire stem cross section. The fourth animation is on a macroscopic level, showing growth of a tree from an external view. The seasonal flush of leaves, increase in stem length and girth, and development of branches are shown. These animations have shown themselves to be useful tools in teaching because they illustrate the dynamic nature of secondary growth as it occurs within a living plant. These animations will be freely available at

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Animation of Stem Secondary Growth

1 - North Carolina State University, Department of Plant Biology, Campus Box 7612, 2115 Gardner Hall, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7612, USA
2 - NC State University, Plant Biology, 2115 Gardner Hall, Box 7612, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA
3 - North Carolina State University, Distance Education & Learning Technology Applications, Venture II 500, Box 7113, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA

secondary growth

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 2
Location: Marlborough A/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 2004
Abstract ID:422
Candidate for Awards:None

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