Morphology, anatomy and leaf ultrastructure of Froelichia tomentosa (Mart.) Moq. (Amaranthaceae) - a critically endangered species in Brazil




Amaranthaceae, Anatomy Kranz, Sandy-fields, Chloroplasts, Threatened species, Adaptive strategies


In Brazil, Froelichia tomentosa (Mart.) Moq. has records of occurrence in Rio Grande do Sul (RS) and Bahia, however, in the former there are indications that its populations are extinct. In the RS, the records are restricted to the region of sandy- fields. In this region, biodiversity has been threatened by advances in agriculture and forestry that intensified in the sandy patch process. Therefore, this work aimed to describe the morphoanatomy and ultrastructure of the leaf blade in Froelichia tomentosa, seeking to correlate leaf characteristics to the environmental conditions. Individuals from different populations in the sand- fields (Pampa biome) were sampled. Leaf blade analyzes were performed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (MET) and optical microscopy (MO). The following anatomical features were verified: epidermis with trichomes and stomata in the adaxial and abaxial surface, compact mesophyll, aquiferous hypodermis, Kranz anatomy, and numerous plastoglobules and peroxisomes. The presence of these characters may be related to the adaptation of this species to environment. In addition, we highlight the necessity to create conservation units in the sand-fields region, in order to preserve species as well as that of the present study.

Author Biographies

Aline Viana, Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Cascavel, PR

Pós Graduação em Biotecnologia, Bloco 8, sala 305.

Elisete Maria de Freitas, Universidade do Vale do Taquari, Lajeado, RS

Bióloga, Doutora em Botânica (2010), na área de Ecologia Vegetal, pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), mestre em Geografia (2006), na área de Análise Ambiental pela UFRGS. Tem especialização em Planejamento e Gestão Ambiental pelo Centro Universitário UNIVATES e em Cultura de Tecidos Vegetais pela Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA).

Shirley Martins Silva, Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, Cascavel, PR

Bacharel em Ciências Biológicas pela Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), Mestre em Biologia Vegetal pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Vegetal da UFPE e Doutora em Ciências Biológicas (Biologia Vegetal) pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biociências na Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, Rio Claro). Docente e pesquisadora da Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná (UNIOESTE, Cascavel.


ARRUDA RCO, VIGLIO NSF, BARROS AAM. Leaf anatomy of halophytes and psammophilous plants from the Restinga of Ipitangas, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rodriguésia [online]. 2009; 60(2): 333-352.

AUSTIN, JR, FROST E, VIDI PA, KESSLER F, STAEHELIN LA. Plastoglobules are lipoprotein subcompartments of the chloroplast that are permanently coupled to thylakoid membranes and contain biosynthetic enzymes. The Plant Cell. 2006; 18(7): 1693-1703.

BERLYN G, MIKSCHE J. Botanical microtechnique and cytochemistry. Ames, The Iowa State University Press. 1976; p.326.

CNCflora (Centro Nacional de Conservação da Flora). Open in acess in 07 de outubro, 2017.

CUTLER DF, BOTHA T, STEVENSON DWM. Anatomia Vegetal – Uma abordagem aplicada. São Paulo, ArtMed Editora. 2011; p.304.

DASILVA MB. Areas of endemism: do species live anywhere, where they can, or where they historically evolved and speciated? Revista da Biologia vol. Esp. Biogeografa. 2011; 12-17.

ELIAS SR, ASSIS RM, STACCIARINI-SERAPHIN E, REZENDE MH. Leaf anatomy in young plants of Solanum lycocarpum A. St.-Hil. (Solanaceae). Brazilian Journal of Botany. 2003; 26: 169-174.

FAHN A, CUTLER D. Xerophytes. Gebrüder Borntraeger, Berlin. 1992; p.176.

FANK-DE-CARVALHO SM, BÁO SN. Contribuições ao conhecimento da anatomia, micromorfologia e ultraestrutura foliar de Amaranthaceae do Cerrado. 2011. Instituto de Biologia. Doutorado em Biologia Celular e Estrutural, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil. (Thesis) 107p.

FANK-DE-CARVALHO SM, GOMES MRDA, SILVA PÍT, BÁO SN. Leaf surfaces of Gomphrena spp. (Amaranthaceae) from Cerrado biome. Biocell. 2010b; 34(1): 23-35.

FANK-DE-CARVALHO SM, MARCHIORETTO MS, BÁO SN. Leaf anatomy, morphology and ecological aspects of Amaranthaceae species from Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural Cara Preta, in Alto Paraíso, GO, Brazil. Biota Neotropica. 2010a; 10(4) :77-86.

FANK-DE-CARVALHO SM, BÁO SN, MARCHIORETTO MS. Amaranthaceae as a bioindicator of neotropical savannah diversity. In Biodiversity Enrichment in a Diverse World. 2012; InTech: 235-256.

FANK-DE-CARVALHO SM, SOMAVILLA NS, MARCHIORETTO MS, BÁO SN. Plant structure in the Brazilian neotropical savannah species. In: Biodiversity in Ecosystems-Linking Structure and Function. 2015; InTech: 425-460.

FERNANDES VF, BEZERRA LDA, MIELKE MS, SILVA DDC, COSTA LCDB. Leaf anatomy and ultrastructure of Ocimum gratissimum under different light radiation levels. Ciência Rural. 2014; 44(6): 1037-1042.

FRANCESCHI V, HORNER JR. HT. Calcium oxalate crystals in plants. The Botanical Review. 1980; 46: 361-427. California.

FRANKLIN GL. Preparation of thin sections of synthetic resins and wood-resin composites, and a new macerating method for wood. Nature. 1945; 155(3924): 51.

FREITAS EM, BOLDRINI II, MÜLLER SC, VERDUM R. Floristics and phytosociology of grassland vegetation subject to sandy desertification in southwestern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica. 2009; 23(2): 414-426.

FREITAS EM, TREVISAN R, SCHNEIDER ÂA, BOLDRINI II. Floristic diversity in areas of sandy soil grasslands in Southwestern Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Biociências. 2010; 8(1): 112-130.

GARNER DMG, MURE CM, YERRAMSETTY P, BERRY JO. Kranz anatomy and the C4 pathway. In: eLS Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. 2016.


Biodiversity and plant conservation in Brazil. Megadiversidade. 2005; 1(1): 52-61.

GRIGORE MN, TOMA C. Histo-anatomical strategies of Chenopodiaceae halophytes: adaptive, ecological and evolutionary implications. WSEAS Transactions on Biology and Biomedicine. 2007; 4(12): 204-218.

JÁUREGUI D, CASTRO M, RUIZ-ZAPATA T, LAPP M. Anatomy of the vegetative organs of two species of Atriplex (Chenopodiaceae) from Venezuela. Revista de Biologia Tropical. 2014; 62(4): 1625-1636.

JOHANSEN DA. Plant microtechnique. New York: Mcgraw-Hill Book. 1940;p.523.

JOHNSON H B. Plant pubescence: an ecological perspective. The Botanical Review. 1975; 41(3): 233-258.

KRAUS JE, ARDUIM M. Basic method manual in plant morphology. EDUR. 1997; p.198. Rio de Janeiro.


Biogeography of the Amaranthaceae family in Rio Grande do Sul. Pesquisas, Botânica. 2008; 59: 171-190.

MARCHIORETTO MS, WINDISCH PG, DE SIQUEIRA JC. Geographical distribution patterns of the species of Froelichia Moench and Froelichiella R. E. Fries (Amaranthaceae) in Brazil. Iheringia Série Botânica. 2004; 59(2): 149-160.


Problems of conservation of the species of the genera Froelichia Moench and Froelichiella R.E. Fries (Amaranthaceae) in Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica. 2005; 19(2): 215-219.

MARCHIORETTO MS. Species of the Pampa Biome: Amaranthacae. 64º Congresso Nacional de Botânica. 2013.

MARTINS S, MACHADO SR, ALVES M. Anatomia e ultra-estrutura foliar de Cyperus maritimus Poir. (Cyperaceae): estratégias adaptativas ao ambiente de dunas litorâneas. Acta Botanica Brasilica. 2008; 22: 493-503.

METCALFE CR, CHALK L. Anatomy of the Dicotyledons. At The Clarendon Press; Oxford. 1950.

METZGER JP, BUSTAMANTE MMC, FERREIRA J, FERNANDES GW, LIBRÁN‐EMBID F, PILLAR VD, PRIST PR, RODRIGUES RR, VIEIRA ICG, OVERBECK GE. Why Brazil needs its Legal Reserves. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. 2019; 17(3): 104-116.

MMA – MINISTÉRIO DO MEIO AMBIENTE. Áreas prioritárias para a conservação, uso sustentável e repartição de benefícios da biodiversidade brasileira: atualização – Portaria MMA nº 09, de 23 de janeiro de 2007. Ministério do Meio Ambiente - Secretaria de Biodiversidade e Florestas, Brasília, 2007; p. 300.

MOTT KA, GIBSON AC, O'LEARY JW. The adaptative significance of amphistomatic leaves. Plant, Cell and Enviroment. 1982; 5: 455-460.

MUHAIDAT R, SAGE RF, DENGLER NG. Diversity of Kranz anatomy and biochemistry in C4 eudicots. American Journal of Botany. 2007; 94(3): 362-381.

NIMER E. 1979. Climatologia do Brasil. IBGE - Superintendência de Recursos Naturais e Meio Ambiente. 1979; p. 422. Rio de Janeiro.

OLIVEIRA MG, SUERTEGARAY DMA. Processos Geomorfológicos na Evolução da Paisagem/Geomorphological Processes in Landscape Evolution. Revista FSA (Faculdade Santo Agostinho). 2014;11(2): 211-233.

OVERBECK GE, MÜLLER SC, FIDELIS A, PFADENHAUER J, PILLAR VDP, BLANCO CC, BOLDRINI II, BOTH R, FORNECK ED. Os Campos Sulinos: um bioma negligenciado. Em: Pillar VDP, Müller SC, Castilhos ZMC, Jacques AVA. (eds.). Campos Sulinos – conservação e uso sustentável da biodiversidade. MMA. 2009; 26-41. Brasília.

PALMA JM, CORPAS FJ, DEL RÍO LA. Proteome of plant peroxisomes: new perspectives on the role of these organelles in cell biology. Proteomics. 2009; 9(9): 2301-2312.

PILLAR VDP, LANGE O. Os Campos do Sul. Rede Campos Sulinos–UFRGS. 2015; p.192.

PLAYUK JÁ. Estudios morfo-anatómicos de Gomphrena perennis, maleza tolerante al glifosato. Doctoral dissertation, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y Forestales. 2016

PURVIS M, COLLIER D, WALL D. Laboratory Techniques in Botany. London, Butterworths. 1964.




How to Cite

Viana, A., Freitas, E. M. de, & Silva, S. M. (2021). Morphology, anatomy and leaf ultrastructure of Froelichia tomentosa (Mart.) Moq. (Amaranthaceae) - a critically endangered species in Brazil. Ciência E Natura, 43, e26.




Most read articles by the same author(s)