Beaulieu, JM , Leitch, Ilia J. , Patel, S , Pendharkar, A , Knight, CA .
Genome size is a strong predictor of cell size and stomatal density in angiosperms.
Across eukaryotes phenotypic correlations with genome size are thought to scale from genome size effects on cell size. However, for plants the genome/cell size link has only been thoroughly documented within ploidy series and small subsets of herbaceous species. Here we make the first large-scale comparative analysis of the relationship between genome size and cell size across 101 species of angiosperms of varying growth forms. We used guard cell length and epidermal cell area as two metrics of cell size; in addition we measured stomatal density. There was a significant positive relationship between genome size and both guard cell length and epidermal cell area and a negative relationship with stomatal density. Independent contrast analyses revealed that these traits are undergoing correlated evolution with genome size. However, the relationship was growth form dependent (non-significant results within trees/shrubs), though trees had the smallest genome/cell sizes and the highest stomatal density. Our results confirm the generality of the genome size/cell size relationship. Our results also suggest that changes in genome size, with concomitant influences on stomatal size and density, may influence physiology, and perhaps play an important genetic role in determining the ecological and life-history strategy of a species.
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1 - Yale University, Department and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 26 Sachem St, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA
2 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Jodrell Laboratory, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, United Kingdom
3 - California Polytechnic State University, Biological Sciences, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 903407, USA
4 - California Polytechnic State University, Biological Sciences, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407, USA
5 - California Polytechnic State University, Biological Sciences, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Council Chambers/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 5:15 PM