It is well known that in vitro cultural conditions induce modifications in plant anatomical and histological features, in comparison to the same genotype when cultivated in the field. The aim of this study was to define the characteristics of leaves from 'Nebbiolo' grapevines, cultivated in vitro and in vivo. In micropropagated vines stomata were more frequent, smaller and less elongated than stomata of field-grown plants; epidermal cells of leaves from in vitro vines had a more irregular shape with sinuate margins when observed at the SEM. Micropropagated vines had thinner leaves with spongy and palisade tissues relatively less developed than leaves from in vivo plants. In vitro plants had leaf surfaces more wettable: this suggests a lower deposition of epicuticular wax. These results should help to evaluate the efficacy of treatments used to harden plants during the last phase of micropropagation procedure
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