The characteristics of the seeds of 7 annual and perennial species of
Trifolium, Lotoidea section, in Iran were investigated by
means of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and a stereomicroscope. Contrary
to Zohary`s belief who maintained that the micromorphology of the Trifolium`s
seed played no role in taxonomy, the results revealed that such characteristics
can play a determining role in differentiating such species and distinguishing
them from one another. The results of the micromorphologic study of the
seed confirmed the morphological results of the species of the Lotoidea
section to a great extent, but was involved in the separation and
differentiation of the two species of T. repens and T. nigrescens.
In general, the characteristics of the species` seeds proved quite effective
in determining their phenetic relationship. Among the characteristics
studied in the present research, mention can be made of seed shape, hilum
shape, seed sculpture and seed length and width (L/W ratio). The
results demonstrated that the characteristics of seed length and hilum
shape showed the greatest diversity in the species. The longest seed length
was that of the species T. radicosum and the shortest that
of T. repens. The spindle shape of the hilum was an exclusive characteristic
of T. radicosum which distinguished it more than any other characteristic
from all the other species of this section. The difference in hilum shape
in the two species of T. repens and T. nigrescens was an
important distinctive characteristic.
Fahimeh Salimpour, Gelaleh Mostafavi and Fariba Sharifnia, 2007. Micromorphologic Study of the Seed of the Genus Trifolium, Section Lotoidea, in Iran. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10: 378-382.