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Brazilian Journal of Botany

Print version ISSN 0100-8404On-line version ISSN 1806-9959


GARDONI, Lívia Cristina de Paiva; ISAIAS, Rosy Mary dos Santos  and  VALE, Fernando Henrique Aguiar. Morphology and leaf anatomy of three morphotypes of Marcetia taxifolia (A. St.-Hil.) DC. (Melastomataceae) in "Serra do Cipó", MG. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2007, vol.30, n.3, pp.487-500. ISSN 0100-8404.

Some morphotypes of Marcetia taxifolia have many polymorphic features in "campos rupestres" of "Serra do Cipó", MG. This study aimed to characterize and compare the morphology and anatomy of three morphotypes of M. taxifolia in their natural habitat and in cultivating conditions. The natural selected morphotypes were denominated "Pink", "White" and "Crystal Pink", according to the color of the flowers and to the soil type where each morphotype was found. For leaf anatomical studies, permanent and semi-permanent prepations with transverse sections were done. At green house conditions, thirty seeds of each morphotype were planted on their own soil and on the soil of the other two morphotypes. The most significant differences among the morphological parameters evaluated were plant height, number of stems, and leaf area. "White" and "Crystal Pink" natural morphotypes plants had the higher and the lower values of height and leaf area, respectively. The "Crystal Pink" plants presented more branches than the other two morphotypes. Marcetia taxifolia great phenotypic plasticity is mainly evidenced by the morphological variation observed in the three morphotypes, in field and cultivating conditions. Species plasticity is poorly reflected in anatomical level, therefore anatomical features were insufficient to distinguish M. taxifolia morphotypes. Environmental factors, such as soil fertility, especially iron and aluminum concentrations, and water abundance may be the major factors that influence the divergences found in this study.

Keywords : anatomy; campos rupestres; Marcetia taxifolia; morphology; phenotypic plasticity.

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