Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The epidermal characteristics of the first seeding l eaves of thirty species of grasses common to the mixed Prairie Association of West central Kansas were studied. The thirty species represent seventeen genera and six tribes of the Gramineae. Seed was gathered in the Hays, Kansas area and the seedlings grown in the Fort Hays Kansas State College greenhouse under optimum conditions. Slides of both abaxial (lower) and adaxial (upper) leaf surfaces were made from preserved specimens by the peel method which utilizes acetone and cellulose acetate film. These slides were compared with stained mounts of the abaxial epidermis. Photomicrography of both leaf surfaces were taken and these supplemented with line drawing of certain diagnostic epidermal elements. The differing cell types occurring as part of the epidermis were studied and recorded. Silica bodies, cork cells, macro-hairs, micro-hairs, prickle hairs, papillae, stomata, and certain undifferentiated cells were studied. The form or shape of these epidermal elements was emphasized rather than the number or distribution. The form of the silica bodies and bicellular microhairs were found to be most useful in distinguishing or characterizing species and other taxa. In this survey of a number of grasses of several genera and tribes, the form and arrangement of the epidermal elements were found to be more diagnostic than distribution or frequency.


Howard C. Reynolds

Date of Award

Spring 1962

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1962 Donald Leon Watson


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