Scanning Electron Microscopy


Seeds of twenty species representing eight mimosoid genera were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine if variations in the pleurograms and seed topographies exist and if these variations might have taxonomic potential. The pleurogram has been previously considered a feature of many mimosoid seeds but has not been adequately described and critically evaluated as to its shape and other features. The pleurogram shapes of the examined seeds can be placed in four general categories: elliptic, ovate, obovate, lanceolate. If the length/width ratio of the pleurogram is considered as well as the extent of the openness of the pleurogram toward the hilar end, each species considered in this study can be easily separated. The most common topographic patterns of the seed coats were rugulate and reticulate with one species having a foveolate testa. The results obtained from this initial study provide a base for examination of additional genera and species to resolve the question of taxonomic value of the pleurogram and/or topographic patterns among mimosoid seeds.

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