Morphometric Variations in Caryopses and Seedlings of Two Grass Species Growing Under Contrasting Habitats
Urochondra setulosa grows in marine conditions, while Sporobolus indicus grows near fresh water and sometimes also close to moist places along roadside areas. Both species belong to the same tribe and same family. The two grass species growing under different habitats showed characteristic variations in their morphometric traits of the caryopsis and seedlings. U. setulosa growing in salty area had characteristic features, e.g. leaf and culm with salt deposition, rigid leaf blade with pointed leaf tip, while S. indicus growing near fresh water showed glabrous nodes and internodes. Morphometric analysis of caryopses of both species showed very similar features, without prominent differences in their length, breadth and thickness. But light microscopy and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) studies showed variations. Under light microscopy, features like colour, shape and compression of caryopses showed differences among the species. SEM studies of caryopses revealed a reticulate type of pattern of sculpturing on both dorsal and ventral surfaces, whereas anticlinal and periclinal walls in U. setulosa were elevated with folded walls, while in S. indicus had non elevated undulating walls. In conclusion, each individual grass ecotype evolves some characteristic morphological features to thrive well under a particular environment. Both species studied hereby, grown in different habitats, showed remarkable differentiations in their characters, thus indicating that habitats play a major role in traits of the plant growth.
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