Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 298, Issue 1, pp 205–219 | Cite as

Comparative analysis of qualitative anatomical characters of Trifolium L. (Fabaceae) and their taxonomic implications: preliminary results

  • Lana ZoricEmail author
  • Ljiljana Merkulov
  • Jadranka Lukovic
  • Pal Boza
Original Article


A comparative anatomical study of 20 Trifolium species was carried out using light and scanning electron microscopy in order to investigate the structure of their vegetative and reproductive organs and to evaluate the taxonomic significance of qualitative characters for distinguishing between the taxa. Characters were coded and analysed by multiple correspondence analysis. The combination of selected qualitative anatomical characters of the petiole, stipules, stem, peduncle and calyx (not previously studied in detail) were significant in delimiting sections of the genus Trifolium, but not for identification of species. The characters that contributed most to the separation of sections were peduncle cross-section shape, the presence of trichomes on the calyx tubes and the presence of trichomes and crystals in the stipules.


Clover Comparative anatomy Correspondence analysis Plant structure Taxonomy 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Milos Bokorov from the University Centre for Electron Microscopy, Novi Sad, for his technical assistance and SEM microscopy and Dr. Vladimir Randjelovic and Bojan Zlatkovic for their help in the field work, plant material collection and determination. This work was supported financially by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development, Republic of Serbia (grants no. 173002 and 31024).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lana Zoric
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ljiljana Merkulov
    • 1
  • Jadranka Lukovic
    • 1
  • Pal Boza
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology and EcologyUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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