Photosynthetic costs of foliar variegation in Begonia

Photosynthetic costs of foliar variegation in <i>Begonia</i>

Photosynthetic costs of foliar varie­ga­tion in Begonia

Foliar varie­ga­tion is often assumed to be due to lack of chloro­phyll or the pres­ence of spe­cial pig­ments in sec­tions of a leaf, but it can also res­ult from leaf struc­tural vari­ation. Sheue et al. show that nat­ur­ally occur­ring foliar varie­ga­tion in six spe­cies and one cul­tivar of Begonia is due to air spaces above the chloren­chyma, situ­ated either below the adaxial epi­dermis or below the adaxial water-storage tis­sue. Photosynthetic func­tion­ing is retained in the light areas of the leaves, and these areas do not include primary veins, poten­tially lim­it­ing the costs of variegation.

Annals of Botany Office.

The Annals of Botany Office is based at the University of Leicester.

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