P&PDL Picture of the Week for
May 3, 2004

Coleoptile Appearance During Emergence

Bob Nielsen, Extension Corn Production Specialist, Purdue University

The coleoptile is a rigid piece of plant tissue that encloses the first few leaves of the corn seedling as the mesocotyl elongates and 'pushes' the coleoptile to the soil surface during the emergence process. For a more complete discussion on the emergence process in corn, see my Web article at http://www.kingcorn.org/news/articles.04/Emerge-0502.html

Click image to enlarge

Closeup of corn coleoptile.

Coleoptile tissue removed to reveal inner leaves of plumule.

Split in coleoptile side due to expansion of inner leaves.

Inner leaves 'teased' out of coleoptile.

View of kernel, mesocotyl, coleoptile and leaf emergence just below the soil surface.

Emergence of inner leaves through split tip of coleoptile.

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service