Seed morphology of Silene commelinifolia Boiss. complex (Caryophyllaceae Juss.)
Silene (Caryophyllaceae) is a large genus with about 700 species distributed worldwide. Auriculatae is the largest section of this genus with 21 endemic species represented in Iran. Seed micromorphology of S. commelinifolia, S. lucida, S. nurensis and S. eremicana from 18 populations was studied by the light microscopy. As a result, 6 populations were adopted for further SEM studies. A great variation was observed in seed shape and size, lateral and peripheral surfaces of seeds, and shape of testa cells edge. Totally, 16 quantitative and qualitative seed features were measured and evaluated. Seed size varied from 1.28 × 1.43 mm in Alvand population of S. eremicana, to 1.97 × 1.50 mm in Bozghosh population of S. lucida. PAST and SPSS software was applied to demonstrate the species relationships. S. eremicana and S. lucida were closely grouped, which is in accordance with their morphological similarities. Seed micromorphology revealed that the species, which are similar to S. commelinifolia are clearly separated from each other. Therefore seed morphology is of taxonomic importance in the studied group.
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