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Leaf epicuticular waxes in the taxonomy of the Epacridaceae


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Mihaich, Carolyn M 1989 , 'Leaf epicuticular waxes in the taxonomy of the Epacridaceae', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Leaf epicuticular waxes have been studied in the plant family Epacridaceae from a
primarily taxonomic aspect. Both the form of the wax and its chemical composition have
been analysed.
Wax morphology in approximately 95% of the known species from 30 of the 31 recorded
genera has been examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Two wax categories,
amorphous and structured including four structured wax types are recognised. Distribution
and variation in wax types has relevance at all levels of the taxonomic hierarchy.
In a representative number of species (74) from 25 genera (covering the variation in wax
types recognised from the SEM survey), complete chemical composition of the waxes has
been undertaken using GC-MS. Quantitative measurements of individual components are
based upon integrated peak areas. Compared with most previous reports the current study
has obtained very satisfactory results from direct analysis of the crude wax, significantly
reducing both preparation and analysis time for each species. The results indicate that wax
structure is correlated with chemical composition and that the distribution of wax components
within the family and their relative proportions between genera and species has taxonomic
importance. In the final section of the thesis a taxonomic reassessment of the genus Cyathodes in
Australia and New Zealand is reported incorporating data from all available sources.
Chemical data, including waxes, contributes valuable additional information to the traditional
morphologically based data and assists in the clarification of taxonomic problems within the

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Mihaich, Carolyn M
Keywords: Epacridaceae
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1989 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1990. Bibliography: p. 144-165. Microfiche in pocket at back of vol

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