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Micromorphology of Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) Leaves

  • Chester G. Mcwhorter (a1), Clark Ouzts (a1) and Rex N. Paul (a2)

Abstract

Adaxial and abaxial epidermal surfaces of johnsongrass leaves were studied to determine which cells contribute to leaf microroughness. Cork-silica cell (CSC) pairs, three types of prickles, macrohairs, bicellular trichomes, stomata, and ordinary short and long epidermal cells were found and described. CSC pairs made up about 22% of all cells and probably contribute more to microroughness than any other single type because each cork cell produces 11 ± 3 wax filaments that are up to 100 μm long. Bicellular trichomes represented 4 to 5% of the total cells but decreased leaf roughness by secreting a type of mucilage that covers microscopic wax crystals. Stomatal complexes comprised 15 to 18% of all cells and contributed to leaf roughness because they are slightly recessed below the leaf surface. Long prickles occur primarily over veins and represent less than 1% of all cells. Small prickles were present primarily on adaxial surfaces and represent only 3% of all cells. Macrohairs were the largest appendages, 237 ± 104 μm, but they represent far less than 1% of all cells and occur primarily over veins. Ordinary short cells comprised 6 to 13% of all cells. Long cells were most common (41%) of all cells. Short and long cells contribute to leaf roughness because the surface is often convex. A typical johnsongrass leaf may contain more than 25 million appendages on each surface that increase the roughness already caused by epicuticular wax crystals.

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Keywords

Micromorphology of Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) Leaves

  • Chester G. Mcwhorter (a1), Clark Ouzts (a1) and Rex N. Paul (a2)

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