International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Botanical indices of ploidy levels in some African accessions of Oryza punctata Kotschy ex Steud

CC Nwokeocha


Twenty-nine accessions of Oryza punctata Kotschy ex Steud, from local and other African habitats were studied to establish the attributes that can delineate the two ploidy levels based on agro-botanical, foliar epidermal and nodal anatomical characteristics. The diploid plants of O. punctata are early-maturing annuals with a small biomass, while the tetraploids are large, vigorous perennials. From the anatomical and morphological traits: the diploids have narrower leaves (0.95 - 1.36 cm wide) than the tetraploids (1.9 - 2.3 cm); the culms of diploids are generally thin (0.28 - 0.35 cm in diameter) compared to the tetraploids (0.37 - 0.57 cm); the diploids have longer spikelets (6.20 - 7.04 mm) with length/breadth > 3; longer awns (52 - 86 mm) than the tetraploids (20 - 31 mm). The basal cells of microhairs in the diploids are about twice the length of apical cells, but only slightly longer than the apical cells in the tetraploids; prickle hairs are sparse in the intercostal zone of diploids, but abundant in tetraploids; short cells are paired and abundant in the intercostal zone of diploids, but sparse and solitary in the tetraploids. These indices delineated the ploidy levels and are reliable for use as identification aids.

Keywords: Agro-botanical characteristics, diploid punctata, tetraploid punctata, delineation, identification aids.
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