Indira Gandhi Agricultural University
Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Size and distribution of stomata in maize and its wild relatives
--G. Chandel, Rajesh Kumar and S. Katiyar

Stomatal characteristics have been realised as an asset to evolutionary studies. Stomatal size and distribution in twenty-six distinct collections of Coix, including both Coix aquatica (2n=10) and Coix lacryma-jobi (2n=20), four collections of Chionachne koenigii, three collections of teosinte, including Zea diploperennis, Z. parviglumis, Z. luxurians and three collections of maize (Zea mays L.) were used for observation.

Observations were recorded on size and number of stomata/unit area in all the members of the Maydeae. In general, Chionachne has the largest stomata with a mean stomatal size of 52.50 µm, followed by Coix aquatica (51.97 µm), Coix lacryma-jobi (48.00 µm), teosinte (46.75 µm) and maize (43.50 µm) (Table 1). Although Coix aquatica (2n=10) has a lower chromosome number, size of the stomata was found to be larger than that of Coix lacryma-jobi (2n=20). Mean number of stomata/unit area in Maydeae varied from 131.83 in teosinte to 163.94 in Coix lacryma-jobi. The size of the stomata in maize and teosinte was smaller than in the members of Coix and Chionachne. Number of stomata/unit area was also less in Zea than in Coix and Chionachne.

Table 1. Mean stomatal size (µm) and number per unit area in maize and its wild relatives.
Stomatal Size
No. of stomata/unit area
S.N. Materials
1 Maize 43.50±0.00 37.50-45.00 136.00±0.00 133.00-139.00
2 Teosinte 46.75±1.03 45.00-52.50 131.83±12.9 120.00-171.00
3 Coix aquatica 51.97±1.30 37.50-60.00 134.01±4.75 102.00-194.00
4 C. lacryma-jobi 48.00±0.77 45.00-60.00 163.94±6.58 139.00-186.00
5 Chionachne 52.50±1.93 45.00-60.00 137.41±12.7 110.00-168.00

Maize - mean of four collections; teosinte - mean including Zea diploperennis, Z. parviglumis and Z. luxurians; Coix aquatica - mean of twenty collections; C. lacryma-jobi - mean of six collections; Chionachne - mean of four collections.

Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors

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