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ISRN Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 246057, 9 pages
Research Article

Phytoliths as a Tool for the Identification of Some Chloridoideae Grasses in Kerala

Department of Botany, University of Calicut, Kerala 673 635, India

Received 15 October 2012; Accepted 18 November 2012

Academic Editors: T. Berberich, F. A. Culianez-Macia, and S.-W. Park

Copyright © 2012 P. I. Jattisha and M. Sabu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The phytoliths of eight genera including fifteen species of grasses under the subfamily Chloridoideae in Kerala were studied. Phytoliths were studied after chemical isolation. Every species was found to produce a diverse array of phytoliths. However the frequency assemblages of phytoliths, their size, and orientation in the epidermal layer appear to vary among the different species and hence can be used for the delimitation of the taxa. Consequently, an identification key following the International Code for Phytolith Nomenclature was developed for all the species studied.