Stomata variation in the process of polyploidization in Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum)

BMC Plant Biol. 2023 Nov 28;23(1):595. doi: 10.1186/s12870-023-04615-y.


Background: Stomatal variation, including guard cell (GC) density, size and chloroplast number, is often used to differentiate polyploids from diploids. However, few works have focused on stomatal variation with respect to polyploidization, especially for consecutively different ploidy levels within a plant species. For example, Allium tuberosum, which is mainly a tetraploid (2n = 4x = 32), is also found at other ploidy levels which have not been widely studied yet.

Results: We recently found cultivars with different ploidy levels, including those that are diploid (2n = 2x = 16), triploid (2n = 3x = 24), pseudopentaploid (2n = 34-42, mostly 40) and pseudohexaploid (2n = 44-50, mostly 48). GCs were evaluated for their density, size (length and width) and chloroplast number. There was no correspondence between ploidy level and stomatal density, in which anisopolyploids (approximately 57 and 53 stomata/mm2 in triploid and pseudopentaploid, respectively) had a higher stomatal density than isopolyploids (approximately 36, 43, and 44 stomata/mm2 in diploid, tetraploid and pseudohexaploid, respectively). There was a positive relationship between ploidy level and GC chloroplast number (approximately 44, 45, 51, 72 and 90 in diploid to pseudohexaploid, respectively). GC length and width also increased with ploidy level. However, the length increased approximately 1.22 times faster than the width during polyploidization.

Conclusions: This study shows that GC size increased with increasing DNA content, but the rate of increase differed between length and width. In the process of polyploidization, plants evolved longer and narrower stomata with more chloroplasts in the GCs.

Keywords: Chinese chive; Evolution; Polyploidization; Stomatal variation.

MeSH terms

  • Chive* / genetics
  • Plant Stomata*
  • Ploidies*
  • Tetraploidy
  • Triploidy