In 1980, Cutler and his colleagues carried out an investigation of the tetraploid shrubby species of Aloe in Kenya, which include A. nyeriensis Christian and A. kedongensis Reynolds. They concluded that they had evolved from a form very close to the diploid Aloe morijensis S. Carter & Brandham in which chromosome doubling had occurred, followed by spreading northwards of Morijo in Narok County. However, A. morijensis has fibres in the leaves in place of the aloitic cells that produce distinctive exudates in most aloes, including the tetraploid shrubby species. A return to aloitic cells from fibres would be a reverse of an evolutionary trend, and is unlikely. Hence, this conjectured origin of the shrubby species and their relationship with A. morijensis was investigated using anatomical characters not employed in the previous investigations by Cutler et al. The presence of lignified cells was seen in the base, middle and apex of the lamina of A. morijensis while in the case of the tetraploid shrubby species only aloitic cells were found. These results suggest that it is very unlikely that A. morijensis is the ancestor of the tetraploid shrubby aloes.
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