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The Sporangium of Horneophyton lignieri (Rhyniophytina)

Donald A. Eggert
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 61, No. 4 (Apr., 1974), pp. 405-413
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2441808
Page Count: 9
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The Sporangium of Horneophyton lignieri (Rhyniophytina)
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Abstract

Numerous sporangia of Horneophyton lignieri from the Rhynie Chert locality in Scotland have been studied. The sporangia are branched, with two to four columellate lobes of varying length, and a continuous sporogenous zone or cavity occurs among the lobes. Unbranched sporangia, generally thought to be the typical form for the plant have not been found, and their presence is not established. Although not definitely proven, evidence suggests that the sporangia opened by means of a small apical pore or stoma. An area of thick-walled cells at the apex of each sporangial lobe probably played some role in this opening. Radial, trilete, azonate spores ranging from 39-49 μm in diam, with curvaturae perfectae are produced most commonly in tetrahedral tetrads and occasionally in isobilateral tetrads. Matters of spore preservation and possible ornamentation are discussed. The branched sporangia of this genus are unique among bryophytes and vascular plants and provide some evidence that certain synangia may have arisen from a single sporangium rather than from multiple sporangia borne singly at the tips of ultimate branches.

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