Foliar trichomes and their systematic relevance in Solanum (Solanaceae) species from southern Western Ghats, Kerala

V.S. Anil Kumar*, A.V. Sunila and K. Murugan

Published on : 30-Dec-2017



Morphological features of foliar trichomes have been successfully employed in classification of diverse groups of plants. The present study evaluates the taxonomic value of trichomes in 17 taxa of Solanum L. using Scanning Electron Microscopy. Both glandular and non-glandular trichomes were observed on the leaves which showed variations in their density of distribution among the species as well as on the two surfaces of the leaves of the same species. The non-glandular trichomes with 1 to 14 arms often form a dense mat over the leaf surfaces, providing protection. The differential length of the radiating arms also helpful in delimiting the species. The non-glandular trichomes are of two kinds: long and short capitate or ovate forms. Species with sparse nonglandular trichomes showed comparatively more number of glandular trichomes. The micromorphology and distribution patterns of trichomes can be used in the taxonomic delineation of various Solanum species.