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Dr. P. Mukherjee, FBS
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Department of Botany
K. K. M. College, Pakur-816107, Jharkhand
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The Biobrio 1(1), 2014

CONTEMPLATION OF APPLICATIONS OF SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY IN TAXONOMY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO PHERMATOLOGY

AMBARISH MUKHERJEE AND JOYDEEP ACHARYA

ABSTRACT:

The present review deals with the basics of Scanning Electron microscopy (SEM) and analyses the applications in taxonomic studies with phermatology. The popularity of SEM over TEM (Transmission electron microscopy) and applications of TEM in scientific elucidations including plant taxonomy have also been discussed. SEM studies strengthen morphological description of surface characteristics of leaves, pollen, floral parts, fruits and seeds revealing both conservative and variable data thus helping in studying various aspects of biodiversity. It is greatly helpful in discrimination of taxa at the levels of family, genus, species and infra-specific categories. SEM also provides tools to view microevolution by revealing sculpture of spermoderm of seeds. Moreover it provides pharmacognosy with tools for correct identification of crude drugs and also proves meaningful in identification of seeds of the Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) at varietal levels thus ensuring quality control and prevention of adulteration. SEM is also helpful in ecological studies through assessment of seed-bank potential of waste- and fertile- lands, monitoring of habitat status, i.e. xeric, mesic and hydric states, revealing trophic relationship and co-evolution and monitoring the environmental state.

Keywords:    Taxonomy, Scanning Electron microscopy, phermatology, pharmacognosy, Plant Genetic Resources (PGR), Ecology



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