Stomata in grasses of the Andropogoneae (Poaceae)


Foliar epidermal studies as an aid to the identification of grasses of tribe Andropogoneae (Poaceae) from Potohar region of Pakistan

by Nazir A., Khan M. A., Ahmad F., Ullah K., Shah A. (2013)


1 Department of Plant Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan

3 Department of Botany, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan

4 Department of Botany, University of Sargodha, Sargodha Pakistan

Abdul Nazir, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology – Islamabad, Pakistan
Mir Khan, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad


in Pak. J. Bot., 45(SI): 235-241. –


In the present investigations, 13 species of grasses belonging to 10 genera of tribe Andropogoneae (Poaceae) were collected from the Potohar region of Pakistan and their leaf epidermal studies were carried out.

The leaf epidermal studies showed that all the species have paracytic stomata, with dumb bell shaped guard cells, except Heteropogon contortus and Cymbopogon jwarancusa in which guard cells are straight in the middle.

Different types of subsidiary cells such as high dome shaped, triangular shaped or low dome shaped subsidiary cells are observed. The difference in shape of subsidiary cells can be used to differentiate problematic species such as genus Bothriochloa from Dicanthium, as these genera look similar morphologically.

Diversity in shapes of silica bodies is observed in the species of this tribe, which is valuable for identification. Silica bodies are cross shaped, dumb bell shaped or intermediate between cross and dumb bell shaped.

Bicelled microhairs of panicoid type are present in all the species except Euloliopsis binata in which microhairs are absent. Microhairs are rounded in all species except Cymbopogon jawarancusa and Heteropogon contortus.

The studies revealed that different leaf epidermal characters such as shape of subsidiary cells, silica bodies, presence or absence of microhairs, macrohairs and rounded papillae are valuable in the identification of grasses at the specific and generic level of the tribe.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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