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Effects of Silicon on the Life Cycle of Equisetum hyemale L.

Frank M. Hoffman and Charles J. Hillson
Botanical Gazette
Vol. 140, No. 2 (Jun., 1979), pp. 127-132
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2473710
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effects of Silicon on the Life Cycle of Equisetum hyemale L.
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Abstract

Spores of Equisetum hyemale L., collected under sterile conditions, were germinated aseptically in Bold's Basal Medium plus supplementary micronutrient solution. Various silicon (Si) concentrations, from 2.5 mg/liter to 1,000 mg/liter, were used to supplement the control medium. Gametophytes developed on all but the 1,000 mg Si/liter medium. Fertilization occurred after the cultures were flooded with sterile distilled water, followed by the development of the sporophytic generation. A concentration of 10 mg Si/liter yielded the greatest number of sporophytes. Sporophyte dry weights correlated with Si concentration up to 5 mg/liter. Higher concentrations gave no additional increase in dry weights. Best overall growth and development of sporophytes occurred in media containing 10 or 20 mg Si/liter. A concentration of 20 mg Si/liter gave the highest percentage of sporophytes with strobili. Strobili shedding viable spores were produced only by sporophytes growing on medium containing 20 mg Si/liter, indicating that Si is a required nutrient for the completion of the life cycle. With the light microscope, anatomical differences could not be discerned in sections of internodes of sporophytes grown in the various media. Scanning electron micrographs, however, revealed increasingly larger papillae of Si on the surface of the internodal epidermis with increasing Si concentration. No spores germinated and no cultures grew on media containing titanium.

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