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Photosynthesis in the Female Gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba

William E. Friedman and Thomas E. Goliber
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 73, No. 9 (Sep., 1986), pp. 1261-1266
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2444060
Page Count: 6
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Photosynthesis in the Female Gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba
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Abstract

The female gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba is the only seed plant gametophyte known to contain chlorophyll. Measurements of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) indicate that a gametophyte growing within an ovule can receive significant quantities of light (70 μmol photons m-2 s-1). Under the conditions of our experiments, whole gametophytes dissected free from ovules were capable of gross photosynthesis, but not net photosynthesis. On a dry wt basis, the maximum rate of carbon fixation under near saturating light intensities was 3.64 x 10-3 μmol CO2g-1s-1. The unique ability of the female gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba to produce chlorophyll and engage in photosynthesis appears to result from its exposure to sufficient levels of light and a predisposition to react to this stimulus by the development of a functional photosynthetic apparatus.

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