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Journal Article

Development of the Stomatal Complex as a Taxonomic Character in the Monocotyledons

P. B. Tomlinson
Taxon
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Feb., 1974), pp. 109-128
DOI: 10.2307/1218094
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1218094
Page Count: 20
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Development of the Stomatal Complex as a Taxonomic Character in the Monocotyledons
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Abstract

Existing descriptions of patterns of stomatal development in monocotyledons are very few, often inaccurate and sometimes misleading. The terminologies developed therefrom are probably not very useful. In this article the situation is clarified with respect to information obtained from the examination of the development of the stomatal complex in about 100 species of monocotyledons representing most families. Certain families lack divisions of cells surrounding the guard cell mother cell (meristemoid). Others possess such divisions which may be categorized as either oblique or non-oblique. Many families lack oblique divisions, others are characterized by oblique divisions. There seems to be a correlation between the presence of oblique divisions and the shortness of the protodermal cells. In some families the sequence of divisions is quite precise, in others it is quite variable. Available evidence shows that there are no major groups of monocotyledonous families characterized by a particular pattern of divisions in the development of the stomatal complex and that speculations about the phylogenetic significance of these patterns are premature. It is suggested that the stomatal complex has value as a systematic character only in combination with a variety of other characters and only by consideration of groups which are already known to be natural. Our present appreciation of the affinities of monocotyledonous groups should be used as a source of comparative information about the development of the stomatal complex in monocotyledons and not vice versa.

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