Vol. 77 No. 1 (2022)
Articles

Micro-morphological studies in the genus Balanites Del. in West Africa

Emmanuel Chukwudi Chukwuma
Forest Herbarium Ibadan (FHI), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan
Kehinde Adegoke Adeniji
Forest Herbarium Ibadan (FHI), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan
Luke Temitope Soyewo
Forest Herbarium Ibadan (FHI), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan
Temitope Omoniyi Oyebola
Forest Herbarium Ibadan (FHI), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan
Oluwaseun Adeniyi Osiyemi
Forest Herbarium Ibadan (FHI), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan
Published April 20, 2022
Keywords
  • Balanites,
  • Conservation,
  • leaf anatomy,
  • pollen,
  • West Africa,
  • Zygophyllaceae
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How to Cite
Chukwudi Chukwuma, E., Adegoke Adeniji, K., Temitope Soyewo, L., Omoniyi Oyebola, T., & Adeniyi Osiyemi, O. (2022). Micro-morphological studies in the genus Balanites Del. in West Africa. Webbia, 77(1), 185-199. https://doi.org/10.36253/jopt-12026

Abstract

We examined the two species of the genus Balanites in West Africa for their foliar and pollen micro-characters. Fresh and herbarium specimens were used for this study. Results showed that the species have overlapping characteristics. Epidermal cells were generally anisodiametric or polygonal; anticlinal walls straight-curved while stomata were anomocytic and surrounded by large guard cells in both species. Trichomes were tectorial and only observed in B. aegyptiaca. Pollen grains were generally single, isopolar, tricolporate, and oblate spheroidal in shape, ranging from 23-23.5µm in B. aegyptiaca and 22-23µm in B. wilsoniana, in length. The exine was generally finely reticulate with indistinct lumina and thin in both species while pollen shape was oblate spheroidal in B. aegyptiaca and prolate spheroidal in B. wilsoniana. Ecological data showed that the species are allopatric but sometimes may be found in same ecological zone. Although the present study supports the co-existence of the taxa as sister species, the overlapping characters as observed also suggest the need for further taxonomic studies to ascertain beyond reasonable doubt, the recent infra-generic classification within the Zygophyllaceae.