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Abstract Detail

Developmental and Structural Section

Moore, Zane J. [1], Stapleton, Thomas S. [2].

Morphological Analysis of Chimeric Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens).

Extremely rare redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees with white foliage, called ‘albino’ redwoods, exist throughout the redwood’s natural range. Even rarer still, chimeric redwoods, trees displaying two phenotypes—white and green—exist. This evidence demonstrates that redwood trees have stratified meristems, a trait common in angiosperms but infrequent among gymnosperms. The variegated tissues in these chimeric trees can be used as tracers to differentiate cellular lineages in a plant. Periclinal chimeric redwoods were cultivated and a nodal census was conducted. Redwoods were found to branch in two ways: with sylleptic branches and proleptic branches. Sylleptic branching initiates with the parent meristem whereas proleptic branching has delayed initiation after the parent meristem has already developed. A distinct pattern was found within the two branch types. The sylleptic and proleptic branches displayed primarily different colored foliage, indicating development from different layers of the stratified meristem. Sylleptic branches developed from both the tunica and corpus, maintaining the periclinal chimeric structure, whereas proleptic branches developed from primarily the tunica alone, abandoning the corpus genotype. Stratified meristems and origin of branching differences may allow for the accumulation, proliferation, and selection of mutated cells to occur within individual trees over time. This may be a useful mechanism that allows this species to reach ages over 2500 years.

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Related Links:
Chimeric Redwood Research

1 - Colorado State University, Department of Biology, Fort Collins, CO, 80523-1878, USA
2 - Volcano, CA, 95689-9730, USA

apical meristem
genetic heterogeneity
natural selection
stratified meristem

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PDS006
Abstract ID:785
Candidate for Awards:Developmental and Structural Section best poster

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