Plant life cycle

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Thu Oct 2 19:25:45 EST 1997

At 4:38 PM -0400 10/2/97, Nancy Harrison wrote:
>Has anyone, anywhere, figured out a way to convince students
>that THERE IS INDEED a gametophyte generation in the Plant
>Kingdom? They block it out, and want it to go away!
>-NHarrison, Santa Rosa Jr College (frustrated as Exam 2 approaches)

My two-cents is to have students grow some!

Ceratopteris spores germinate quickly, develop
gametangia rapidly and predictably on 1.5% agar.
Wet mounting some female and male-dominant
gametophytes under one coverslip will quickly
show swimming sperm, and (with the right prep)
show them in chemotaxis near archegonium necks
and even wriggling down the neck!

Nothing like a moving plant to grab a student's

Growing them on to a sporophyte finishes the


Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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