Leaf architecture descriptors for Cucumis (italics) taxa
ID: 613 / 372
Proposed Symposium Title: Leaf architecture descriptors for Cucumis (italics) taxa
Lailani A. Masungsong1,2, Inocencio E. Buot, Jr.2
Affiliations: 1 Graduate School, University of the Philippines, Los Baños Laguna, Philippines 2 Institute of Biological Sciences, University of the Philippines, Los Baños Laguna, Philippines
The leaf architecture of seventeen (17) Cucumis taxa was described and illustrated in this study to address difficulties in taxonomic classification and identification due to apparent morphological similarities. Using architectural traits, specifically venation patterns, the one hundred thirty-four (134) Cucumis accessions (species, subspecies, and varieties) curated at the gene bank of Hortanova Farm and Research Center, Eastwest Seed Company Incorporated in Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines, were identified and classified. Generally, the studied Cucumis taxa have orbiculate and symmetrical lamina, convex apex, lobate base, serrated leaf margins, spinose tooth apex, and palmately lobate as their unifying features. Dissimilarities were observed in blade class, apex angle, primary vein size, secondary vein spacing, tertiary vein angle in relation to primary vein, and areole development. Among these variations, secondary vein spacing delineated the Cucumis taxa effectively. All Cucumis melo L. species, subspecies, and varieties have secondary vein spacing which increases towards the base, while the rest of the Cucumis taxa have an irregular secondary vein spacing. A dichotomous botanical key was also constructed. Results implied that leaf architecture is a good tool to classify numerous accessions of taxonomically confusing taxa like Cucumis. These Cucumis leaf architecture descriptors can be used in the taxonomic authentication of numerous accessions in gene banks, seed firms, and repositories. This is essential in conservation planning and managing of gene bank collections.