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The Gametophyte of the Gleicheniaceae

Alma G. Stokey
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 77, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1950), pp. 323-339
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2481912
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2481912
Page Count: 17
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The Gametophyte of the Gleicheniaceae
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Abstract

1. The early stage of the gametophyte shows great variation and may be a mass, plate or filament. The first wall divides the germinating spore into the first prothallial cell and the first rhizoid. There may then develop a more or less irregular mass, a plate or a filament of two or three, less frequently eight to ten cells. The young prothallus takes on a spatulate form and then becomes cordate. 2. The mature gametophyte is cordate with wings which have a more or less irregular margin. As the thallus continues growth it becomes ribbon-like with a heavy midrib (10-18 cells thick) and uplifted ruffled wings. The base in large gametophytes is usually heavy and club-shaped. Old gametophytes may branch and maintain two apices producing archegonia. The rhizoids are stiff, abundant, usually reddish brown, and in general limited to the midrib. 3. In many species two-celled glandular hairs develop on the midrib or wings in the region of the archegonia; the large tip cell may contain tannin. The hair arises from a special initial, a wedge-shaped cell cut off from the anterior side of a cell in the region of the archegonia. Occasionally such hairs are also found on the margin. 4. The gametophytes are monoecious. The earliest appearance of antheridia was in Sticherus bifidus seven weeks after the planting of spores. The antheridia vary greatly in size from relatively small to large and complex with 10-12 cells in the wall and with a spermatocyte content of several hundred. The cap cell is thrown off at dehiscence. The archegonia have long necks directed towards the apex, ordinarily with seven to nine cells in a tier, but in Gleichenia vulcanica sometimes 12-14. The necks are approximately straight or bent forward towards the apex. The axial row usually consists of egg, ventral canal and a binucleate neck canal cell, but the presence of two canal cells in the neck is not unusual. 5. No cases of apogamy were found in any of the ten species in this investigation.

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