Taxonomic Evaluation of Spinacia oleracea L. Accessions by Morphological and Anatomical Markers

Muhammad Iftikhar, Madiha Rashid, Zubaida Yousaf, Aasma Tufail, Zahra Noreen, Hafiz Usman Ahmad, Abdul Hannan


Spinacia oleracea L. is an edible crop and considered as super food due to high nutrient values. Due to these properties the pot-based project was designed to explore the most diverse accession of this species, 31 local S. oleracea accessions were evaluated taxonomically on the basis of morphological and anatomical markers. Seeds were sown in clay pots to evaluate different morphological characters. The germination period varied from 6 to 15 days while variation in number of leaves was observed to be from 12 to 68 leaves per plant. Moreover, abaxial and adaxial epidermal leaf analysis was examined under light microscope to study the existing anatomical variations. Substantial variations were observed among quantitative characters including number of subsidiary cells (3-5 on both abaxial and adaxial sides), stomata number per unit area (6-21 on abaxial side; 8-18 on adaxial side) and stomatal index (13.9-28.6 on abaxial side; 14.8-25.5 on adaxial side). The shape of epidermal cells varied from tetragonal to pentagonal, hexagonal and irregular. The results concluded that leaf epidermal anatomical markers could be applied considerably in delimiting the species to solve the existing taxonomic problems among them. However, for more authentic results it would be preferred to use more taxonomic tools in integration with anatomy to study intraspecific variations.


Abaxial; Adaxial; Leaf epidermis; Spinacia oleracea; Stomata

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