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Am J Bot. 1997 Sep;84(9):1198.

Leaf anatomy and subgeneric affiliations of C3 and C4 species of Suaeda (Chenopodiaceae) in North America.


The halophytic genus Suaeda (Chenopodiaceae) includes species with the C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. North American species of this genus were investigated to determine whether C3 and C4 leaf anatomy are consistent within the two sections of Suaeda, Chenopodina and Limbogermen, present on this continent. All species from section Chenopodina were found to possess C3 anatomy, whereas all species from section Limbogermen were found to be C4 species. Characteristics of leaf anatomy and chloroplast ultrastructure are similar to those reported from C3 and C4 species, respectively, from the Eastern Hemisphere. All species from section Limbogermen have the suaedoid type of leaf anatomy, characterized by differentiation of the mesophyll into palisade parenchyma and a chlorenchymatous sheath surrounding central water-storage tissue, as well as leaf carbon isotope ratios (_13C) of above -20. All species from section Chenopodina have austrobassioid leaf anatomy without a chlorenchymatous sheath and _13C values of below -20. According to our literature review, the photosynthetic pathway has now been reported for about half (44) of the Suaeda species worldwide. The C3 and C4 photosynthetic syndromes are with few exceptions distributed along sectional or subsectional lines. These findings throw new light on the infrageneric taxonomy of this genus.

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