Comparative Use of Meristic and Geomorphometric Analyses of Vegetative and Floral Characters in Studying Intraspecific Variation in Portulaca grandiflora (Hook)

Athena Jan F. Valenzuela, Brian S.Santos S. Santos, Jonas P. Quilang1 P. Quilang, Ernelea P. Cao


Meristic and geometric morphometric analyses were applied to 150 Portulaca grandiflora (Hook) specimens in order to examine shape variations in vegetative and floral characters between and among the morphotypes of the species. Canonical Variate Analysis of both meristic and geomorphometric data show significant (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively) variation of leaf shape, specifically that of the petiole shape, between “single” flowered and “double” flowered varieties. Plants with single flowers possess leaves that are generally wider, especially toward the apex, while those of plants with double flowers are narrower. Differences were also observed in the size and shape of the petiole such that “double” flowered varieties had a more distinct petiole compared to the “single” flowered varieties. Petal shape was also significantly variable between the two varieties. Principal Component Analysis of both meristic and geomorphometric data also show significant variation within the individuals which may explain the occurrence of the different morphotypes of the plant. Cluster Analysis using meristic data again showed separation between “single” flowered and “double” flowered varieties and further separation between petal colors. In general, meristic and geomorphometric data showed comparable results. Description of shape variation in the vegetative and floral characters studied was consistent in the different analyses used.

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