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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany: Ethnobotany

Alden, Harry [1], Cunningham, Roland [2], Dobbins, David [3], Jantzen, Paul [4], Ryan, Kevin [4].

Evaluation of selected plant material from the Lewis and Clark expedition.

HERBARIA are essential for the study and verification of plant classification, the study of geographic distributions, and the standardizing of taxonomic nomenclature. Lately, herbarium materials have been utilized in biochemical and genetic studies. The key to these studies is the state of preservation of the plant material. The preservation of the reproductive and vegetative structures (hairs, stomata, cuticle, etc.), internal anatomy (vascular tissue size and arrangement), biochemistry (lipids, tannins, etc.) and genetic material is essential to make accurate observations, to collect representative data and answer pertinent research questions. During the expedition of Lewis and Clark (1803-1806), over 200 plant specimens were collected. After surviving the journey, the pressed specimens traveled to England for identification and then returned to The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. In 1998, small samples were removed, for the first time, from 11 specimens for chemical analysis. Microscopy was used to determine their state of preservation. Preliminary microscopic examination of the surfaces originally revealed exquisite preservation of trichomes, stomata, and cuticle in most samples. Later, detailed examination of the surfaces and the internal anatomy of the plants, using digital image analysis (gradient pseudocoloring – Image-Pro Plus©), revealed fungal hyphae on, and in, all of the samples examined.

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1 - Alden Identification Service, 3560 Brookeside Drive, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, 20732, USA
2 - Smithsonian Institution, Suitland, Maryland, 20746, USA
3 - Millersville University, Biology Department, Po Box 1002, Millersville, Pennsylvania, 17551, USA
4 - Media Cybernetics, 8484 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910, USA

Plant Anatomy

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 58-2
Location: 312/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 2:15 PM
Abstract ID:705

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