Variance in Stomatal Size and Density Between Triploid and Diploid Quaking Aspen (Populus Tremuloides) in Utah


Brianne Palmer

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Karen Mock


Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in Utah are triploid (three copies of each chromosome) or diploid (two copies of each chromosome). The purpose of this research is to determine whether there is a significant difference in stomatal sizes and densities between these cytotypes, which could relate to differences in drought tolerance, productivity, and effective management strategies. During the summer of 2013, we collected leaves from stands representing the two cytotypes from Swan Flats and Fish Lake in Utah. From the preliminary analyses, we deduced that the variation in stomatal size and density is primarily among clones but not among cytotypes. However, many of the clones we sampled were already undergoing fall senescence, which may influence the results. We propose to continue this research by conducting a more extensive survey of stomatal size and density, sampling earlier in the season, and by including flow cytometry to confirm the cytotype. If there is a significant difference in stomatal size and density between cytotypes, this information can be used to develop techniques for cytotyping aspen in the field and lead to further research on aspen physiology and management.

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