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Ecological Section

Cunningham, J. B. [1], Coons, J. M. [1], Harris, E. M. [2], Becker, S.A. [1].

Unique anatomical development of Stylisma pickeringii seedlings.

Stylisma pickeringii var. pattersonii is an Illinois endangered sand prairie species with unique seedling development. High temperature, drought and blowing sand in these prairies create a harsh environment for seedling establishment. During seedling development a shoot arises laterally from a seemingly apparent hypocotyl region which is situated subterranean. All growth above the soil surface continues from this region. The objective of this study was to determine the origin and anatomy of these lateral shoots. Plants were grown from seed in vitro on Murashige and Skoog medium. Seedlings were removed from tubes and placed in FAA at 5 day intervals until day 35. Tissues were embedded in Paraplast and sectioned at 10 μm both longitudinally and transversely. Permanent slides were made using the Safranin O and Fast Green staining procedure. The development of the meristematic region, resembling a shoot apical meristem, occurs basally in a cavity created by the fusion of cotyledonary petioles. This meristematic region was observed as early as one day after the emergence of the radicle. The presence of a meristem within a cavity at this early stage in seedling development appears to be unique to S. pickeringii. This adaptation may enhance the ability of the seedling to become established by providing protection from the harsh environment where it occurs.

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1 - Eastern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Lincoln Ave, Charleston, Illinois, 61920-3099, USA
2 - University of Central Florida, Biology Department, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, Florida, 32816, USA

Stylisma pickeringii
seedling development.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 33-22
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:301

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