Epidermal cells of leaves are diverse: tabular pavement cells, trichomes, and stomatal complexes. Pavement cells from the monocot Zea mays (maize) and the eudicot Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) have highly undulate anticlinal walls. The molecular basis for generating these undulating margins has been extensively investigated in these species. This has led to two assumptions: first, that particular plant lineages are characterized by particular pavement cell shapes; and second, that undulatory cell shapes are common enough to be model shapes.
To test these assumptions, we quantified pavement cell shape in epidermides from the leaves of 278 vascular plant taxa.
We found that monocot pavement cells tended to have weakly undulating margins, fern cells had strongly undulating margins, and eudicot cells showed no particular undulation degree. Cells with highly undulating margins, like those of Arabidopsis and maize, were in the minority. We also found a trend towards more undulating cell margins on abaxial leaf surfaces; and that highly elongated leaves in ferns, monocots and gymnosperms tended to have highly elongated cells.
Our results reveal the diversity of pavement cell shapes, and lays the quantitative groundwork for testing hypotheses about pavement cell form and function within a phylogenetic context.
Table with sampled species name, order, major clade, sample number (for cell images and outlines), sample ID (for cell images and outlines), and leaf side
Table S1: Species identifiers and morphometric means
This table provides the morphometric means (and standard deviations) by species reported in the manuscript. It is provided here as an accompaniment to the data files.
Leaf image files as sampled in the manuscript.
This file contains cell coordinate files (.txt) per cell, derived from manual tracing of cell outlines from epidermal images in the accompanying 'CellImages' file. These outlines are designed for import into R or MatLab for analyses.
datamatrix and treefiles used for phyllogenetic analyses in the manuscript.
This file contains all epidermal cell images used in this study. Epidermal peels were stained with Toludine Blue O. Images are saved as .tiff files.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1652380, IOS- 1546837