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Proceedings Paper

Scanning electron microscopy in characterizing seeds of some leguminous trees
Author(s): Nabarun Ghosh; Amiyanghshu Chatterjee; Don W. Smith
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Paper Abstract

SEM has greatly increased our knowledge of the microstructure of seeds. Mature seed coats are rather thick walled and stable in a vacuum: this allows quick preparation for SEM examination, without the need of complicated dehydration techniques. The low level of technical expenditure required, in combination with the high structural diversity exhibited and the intuitive ability to understand the "three dimensional", often aesthetically appealing micro-structures visualized, has turned seed-coat studies into a favorite tool of many taxonomists. We used dry mature seeds of 26 species of 4 Leguminous genera, Acacia, Albizia, Cassia and Dalbergia to standardize a procedure for identifying the seeds through SEM on the seed surface and seed sections. We cut transverse and longitudinal sections of the seeds and observed the sections from different regions of seeds: midseed, near the hilum and two distal ends. Light microscopy showed the color, texture, pleurograms, fissures and hilum at lower magnification. The anatomical study with SEM on the seed sections revealed the size, shape, and number of tiers and cellular organization of the epidermis, hypodermis, endosperm and internal structural details. We found the ornamentation pattern of the seeds including undulations, reticulations and rugae that were species specific. Species of Dalbergia (assamica, latifolia and sissoo), Albizia (odoratissima and procera), Acaia (arabica and catechu) and Cassia (glauca, siamia and spectabilis) are difficult to distinguish externally, but SEM studies provided enough characteristic features to distinguish from the other. This technique could be valuable in identifying seeds of important plant species for conservation and trading.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2009
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7378, Scanning Microscopy 2009, 73781I (22 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.821814
Show Author Affiliations
Nabarun Ghosh, West Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Amiyanghshu Chatterjee, Univ. of Calcutta (India)
Don W. Smith, Univ. of North Texas (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7378:
Scanning Microscopy 2009
Michael T. Postek; Michael T. Postek; Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; Dale E. Newbury; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; S. Frank Platek; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy; David C. Joy; David C. Joy, Editor(s)

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