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Crop Science Abstract -

Epicuticular Wax Ultrastructure Among Lines of Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees Developed for Seedling Drouth Tolerance1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 18 No. 5, p. 699-704
    Received: Dec 19, 1977

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  1. Herbert M. Hull,
  2. L. Neal Wright and
  3. Charles A. Bleckmann2



Leaf surface ultrastructure was studied on seven lines of Lehmann lovegrass, Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees. These were selected from 36 experimental lines that had previously exhibited a wide range of seedling drouth tolerance. They included four of the most drouth-tolerant lines and three that were drouth susceptible. Electron microscopy revealed that leaves of all lines were covered with a basic type of epicuticular wax structure, consisting of small crystalline bodies in combination with various types of ribbons and tubes. Presence of the large wax plates were unique on leaf surfaces of drouth-tolerant lines. The plates were never found on the drouth susceptible lines. Investigation by transmission electron microscopy suggested that the plates were situated horizontally on top of the smaller aggregates, but subsequent examination by scanning electron microscopy revealed that they were oriented vertically to the leaf surface. The wax morphology could serve as a valuable characteristic for selection of germplasm for seedling drouth tolerance and associated responses among Eragrostis sp. and other arid grassland species.

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