Analysis of leaf morphological markers in Brassica rapa, An

Kacmarsky, Sam
Leaf morphometrics looks at leaf morphological features and attempts to establish a relationship between them. Such markers include leaf length and area, as well as vein width and area. Some of these markers, such as area, have a direct impact on photosynthesis, while others, such as vein width and number, impact the leaf by supplying the materials necessary for growth. If these markers are correlated, they could provide a clear selection target for the increase of leaf efficiency. The goal of my project was to determine relationships between leaf morphological markers. To accomplish this, I measured seven morphological markers of the scanned leaves of 43 inbred lines of Brassica rapa. I found clear correlations between maximum width of the main vein and the length of the leaf, as well as slight positive correlations between total length of the leaf and the total number of secondary veins. These results make sense, since a larger number of transport components would be required to produce more leaf tissue. Interestingly, while the collective group of genotypes showed a positive trend for these pairings, some individual genotypes did not exhibit a similar correlation. This could indicate that certain gene combinations allow some genotypes to better supply their leaves than other genotypes. If this is true, such genes would be the target of selection and improvement of plant growth.
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