Novel insight into genome size and succulent trait evolution in Aloe (Asphodelaceae) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew research repository
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Master's dissertation

Novel insight into genome size and succulent trait evolution in Aloe (Asphodelaceae)



Through the evaluation of genomic, anatomical, and physiological characters against the most taxa rich phylogenetic hypothesis of the genus Aloe, this research elucidated succulent trait evolution and relationships governing the ‘succulence syndrome’ within this iconic group. Genome size estimates for 110 species produced 2.7-fold 1C variation and range of 13.49-36.42 (pg) and 1.7-fold 1Cx variation and range of 13.49-22.52 (pg), which demonstrates, whole genome duplication is responsible for the majority of genome size variation in the genus. Investigation into stomatal density shows that adaxial stomatal densities are higher across all species, that abaxial and adaxial stomatal densities are correlated almost 1:1, and that the stomatal density of both surfaces are negatively correlated to genome size. Water content was evaluated with the measure saturated water content, which produced a range of 7.74-41.91(g), raising methodological considerations that have long interrupted attempts to quantify succulence. Future analysis of climactic data and genome size could reveal relationships to traits pertaining to succulence, and could be used to inform conservation efforts.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
30 Apr 2020
2.11 MB