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A mixture of fatty substances characteristically found in epidermal cell walls and in the cuticle of plant leaves and stems.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the most important component of the cuticle of plants, secreted by the underlying epidermis.

The principal components of cutin are ω-oxymonocarboxylic acids, which contain 16 and 18 atoms of carbon in an un-branched chain and two or three hydroxyl groups. The cutin content in the epidermis varies greatly (from 0.8 percent, in birch leaves, to more than 15 percent, in agave leaves). Cutin’s resistance to external influences and its water-repellent properties account for its protective role: the cutinized epidermis of the plants protects them from water loss and penetration by microorganisms.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.