A study as to whether the variablity illustrated by Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis specimens is due to polymorphism or speciation

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Dayton, William J.
Allamong, Betty D.
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Thesis (M.S.)
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A series of experiments was completed in which the morphology, anatomy and biochemistry of two Melilotus species, Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis, were studied. The purposes of the study were to illustrate whether the variability of specimens was due to polymorphism or speciation and to isolate the factors that have separated these specimens as competitors.The effects of impaction and scarification on the germination of M. alba and M. officinalis seeds were studied, as were the effects of light and temperature stimuli on germination and growth The rate of plant maturation and the chronology of flowering for the two species were investigated. Maturation differences were minor, but the chronologies of flowering deviated markedly.The techniques of one- and two-directional thin layer chromatography were used to separate the free amino acids in Melilotus seed extract preparations. The technique of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to separate the proteins in these preparations. In every experiment, the two Melilotus "species" were genus specific with no species variables in terms of the amino acid and protein complements.