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Abstract Detail

Anatomy and Morphology

Woudstra, Yannick [1], Grace, Olwen [2].

Comparative analysis of succulence in the genus Aloe L.

Studying the evolution of succulence is pivotal for understanding plant adaptation to drought. With more than 500 species with varying degrees of succulence and a broad geographical distribution spanning several climate zones, the genus Aloe L. is a good subject for this. The main challenge of studying succulence is how to quantify and compare the syndrome in morphologically dissimilar taxa. We made direct observations and measurements of Aloe species from a range of habitats, representing divergent phylogenetic clades and morphological features. Traits of interest included saturated water content, stomatal density and succulent leaf micromorphology. To quantify these characters, we measured fully saturated and dry weight of freshly cut leaves, prepared epidermal peels and leaf sections for microscope slides. The results presented here are the first in a large-scale macroevolutionary study of succulence in aloes. Additionally, we are using the Aloe 232 target capture kit, developed for a phylogenomic study of the group, to assess selection pressures in several genes involved in these drought adaptation traits. We aim to elucidate the relationship between habitat and succulence morphology and physiology, linking adaptations to drought and other environmental stress, which is important in the current view of climate change and using succulents as natural capital.
Key words: Asparagales, Asphodelaceae, macroevolution, succulence, climate change, drought tolerance

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Related Links:
Overview of the Aloe barcoding project in the Plant.ID Marie Curie ITN

1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Comparative Plant & Fungal Biology, Jodrell Laboratory, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, UK
2 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE, UK

climate change
drought tolerance
drought adaptation.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Anatomy and Morphology Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PAM008
Abstract ID:652
Candidate for Awards:Developmental and Structural Section best poster

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