Universal Journal of Plant Science Vol. 2(6), pp. 107 - 122
DOI: 10.13189/ujps.2014.020602
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Investigations into Phytoliths as Diagnostic Markers for the Grasses (Poaceae) of Punjab


S. A. Shakoor , M. A. Bhat , S. H. Mir , A. S. Soodan *
Plant Systematics & Biodiversity Laboratory, Department of Botanical & Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (Punjab) India

ABSTRACT

Grasses are known to accumulate amorphous silica (SiO2.nH2O) within and between cells as silica bodies of characteristic shapes. The position and type of the host cells are the characters that seem to control their shape and size. The present study was carried out to assess and utilize the diagnostic potential of phytolith types in the identification of grass taxa at sub-familial, tribal, generic and specific levels. Clearing solution method was employed for locating the position of phytoliths within and between cells. Dry and wet ashing methods were subsequently employed for their isolation. Scanning Electron Microscopy was performed to study the ultra-structural features of phytoliths. Micromorphometric measurements of phytoliths were carried out with the help of image analysis software (Image J 1.46r). The study has brought out diagnostic potential of phytolith types for characterization of grasses of Punjab plains. For example, hat shaped phytoliths were identified as the diagnostic marker type for Digitaria ciliaris (Retz.) Koeler. However, full taxonomic potential of phytolith types for characterization of taxa can be realized only after further analysis of their physical properties and chemical architecture.

KEYWORDS
Phytoliths, Grasses, Bilobate, Taxa, Diagnostic

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] S. A. Shakoor , M. A. Bhat , S. H. Mir , A. S. Soodan , "Investigations into Phytoliths as Diagnostic Markers for the Grasses (Poaceae) of Punjab," Universal Journal of Plant Science, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 107 - 122, 2014. DOI: 10.13189/ujps.2014.020602.

(b). APA Format:
S. A. Shakoor , M. A. Bhat , S. H. Mir , A. S. Soodan (2014). Investigations into Phytoliths as Diagnostic Markers for the Grasses (Poaceae) of Punjab. Universal Journal of Plant Science, 2(6), 107 - 122. DOI: 10.13189/ujps.2014.020602.