The occurrence of helical cell wall thickenings in fern roots is not well investigated and there are few records about it in the literature. To assess the presence of thickenings and their chemical composition, we studied all species of Polypodiaceae, which grow in northwestern Argentina, using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. Twenty of the twenty-one species studied showed the thickening in the roots. Only in Melpomene peruviana are helical cell wall thickenings absent. All thickenings have cellulose as the main compound. The structure of the thickening may be classified as simple, furcate, or anastomosing. All data presented in this paper corroborate the same structure and chemical composition of thickenings previously reported for Aspleniaceae.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4