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An Overview of the Morphology, Anatomy, and Life Cycle of a New Model Species: The Lycophyte Selaginella apoda (L.) Spring

Christian Schulz, Damon P. Little, Dennis W. Stevenson, Dennise Bauer, Ciaran Moloney and Thomas Stützel
International Journal of Plant Sciences
Vol. 171, No. 7 (September 2010), pp. 693-712
DOI: 10.1086/654902
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/654902
Page Count: 20
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An Overview of the Morphology, Anatomy, and Life Cycle of a New Model Species: The Lycophyte Selaginella apoda (L.) Spring
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Abstract

Selaginella apoda is an appropriate model species because of its short life cycle and ease of cultivation. To work effectively with a model species, it is important to understand its morphology, anatomy, and life cycle in detail. We present the timing of specific key events (e.g., opening of the megaspore, development of the archegonium, fertilization, first branching) and a morphological and anatomical description of important features of S. apoda such as habit, stem, rhizophores, roots, leaves, ligules, strobili, sporangia, spores, and gametophytes, with many features newly described for Selaginella in general and for S. apoda in particular. Development and growth patterns indicate that each segment is an independent module consisting of a section of the stem, leaves, rhizophores, and roots. A comparison of different leaf types (dorsal and ventral leaves, dorsal and ventral sporophylls) shows similar stomata and papillae distributions but type‐specific forms and sizes. In the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth, the small dorsal leaves transition to small dorsal sporophylls bearing microsporangia, and the large ventral leaves transition to large ventral sporophylls bearing either microsporangia or megasporangia.

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