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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dale McNeal

First Committee Member

Fuad M. Nahhas

Second Committee Member

Alice S. Hunter


The epidermis from a range of species from the genus Allium was peeled from the base, middle, and tip of the adaxial and abaxial surfaces of leaf material. Epidermal peels were water mounted after being peeled using forceps, and photographed using Nomarski microscopy.

The epidermis is composed of rows of cells which run parallel to one another, and to the long axis of the leaf. Guard cells are present on both surfaces of the leaf in most species, but some species lack guard cells on either the abaxial or adaxial surface. Guard cells are sunken to varying degrees in all species surveyed. Subsidiary cells are lacking in all species surveyed. End walls of nonstomatal cells are either even or oblique. Micropapilae, striations, or trichomes are present in some species, but most species lack epidermal structures. Epidermal cells range in size from two to three times greater in length than width to greater than fifteen times longer than wide. The majority of parallel walls are either straight or diamond-shaped while others are wrinkled, wavy, or broadened.

Allium is separated into three groups according to the structure of the parallel walls. Group one includes those species with typically straight parallel walls; group two those species with diamond-shaped parallel walls; and group three is comprised of those species with wavy parallel walls.



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