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Leaf Anatomical Properties

Cite this dataset

Ciftci, Almıla et al. (2021). Leaf Anatomical Properties [Dataset]. Dryad.


Prunus L. subgen. Cerasus Mill. (Rosaceae) contains numerous economically important species, including fruit trees and ornamental plants. This study compares the leaf anatomy and calcium oxalate crystal types of 98 individuals of 14 Prunus subgen. Cerasus taxa from Turkey. We stained leaf sections with Safranin-Alcian Blue double stain and mapped calcium oxalate crystals under light microscope with polarized filter. We used one-way ANOVA to determine the statistical significance of quantitative data. Significant quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using PCoA to establish relationships among taxa. We observed three different crystal distribution patterns and three crystal types, finding druses present in all taxa, while some taxa also have sand or prismatic forms. Most characters showed high variation. Our analysis shows that vascular bundle, midrib, upper epidermis and lower epidermis width/length ratios; midrib epidermis, upper epidermis and phloem cell lengths; upper epidermis and lower epidermis cell widths and lower cuticle thickness are not taxonomically useful, while features of the bundle sheath, epidermis cell surface, phloem fibers, mesophyll layers and angle of blade between the midrib can be used in conjunction with other characters to distinguish certain taxa. Overall, PCoA delineated two rough groups, separating P. avium, P. cerasus and P. mahaleb from the rest of the studied taxa. In investigating the anatomical variation between different individuals of these taxa, we found that some features previously used in infraspecific taxa, such as trichomes, varied sometimes even within an individual, casting doubt on the wisdom of using these for systematic work in subgenus Cerasus.


Plant Material

Subgenus Cerasus in Turkey consists of deciduous shrubs or small- to medium-sized trees which grow primarily on open hillsides. We selected at random mature sun leaves of 14 taxa from subgenus Cerasus of the genus Prunus, including the infraspecific taxa used by Browicz (1972) (P. prostrata var. glabrifolia, P. prostrata var. prostrata, P. microcarpa subsp. microcarpa, P. microcarpa subsp. tortuosa, P. avium, P. cerasus, P. mahaleb var. mahaleb, P. mahaleb var. alpina, P. brachypetala, P. hippophaeoides, P. angustifolia var. angustifolia, P. angustifolia var. sintenisii, P. incana var. incana, P. incana var. velutina), which were collected throughout Turkey in summers 2017-2019. The voucher specimens are deposited in the Istanbul University Faculty of Science Herbarium (ISTF). 

Anatomical Studies

Mature leaves were fixed in 10% glycerin solution in 70% ethanol. The fixed leaves were then dehydrated through ascending alcohol series (70% EtOH, 80% EtOH, 96% EtOH, 100% EtOH, Xylol I, Xylol II) and embedded in paraffin blocks. Sections were taken with Leica RM2125 manual rotary microtome at 6 micrometer. The sections were stained with Safranin O and Alcian Blue double stain after deparaffinization (Tolivia, D. and Tolivia 1987). Leaf material for crystal examinations was prepared according to the method used by Lersten and Horner (2000). Briefly, the leaves were cut into small pieces and bleached using sodium hypochlorite (commercial bleach). Leaves were rinsed with distilled water, mounted with glycerin solution and examined under polarized filter. All slides were examined with ZEISS Axio Scope A1 research microscope and measurements were taken with Argenit Kameram v3.1 Software.

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Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Award: 116Z247

Istanbul University Scientific Research Project Foundation (IU BAP), Award: 33557

Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Award: 116Z247

Istanbul University Scientific Research Project Foundation (IU BAP), Award: 33557