Plant life cycle

Jon Monroe monroejd at
Fri Oct 3 10:09:07 EST 1997

Ross Koning wrote:

>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!

Thanks Ross!  I've never grown these organisms but I will now try.  Upon
reading this I remembered that I inherited a number of vials of fern and
moss spores from my predecessor but I have never tried growing any of them.
Do you Ross, or anyone else have any tips for growing Dryopteris,
Asplenium, Polypodium, or Polystichum?  How about the moss Polytricum?

Thanks.  Students will surely develop a stronger interest if they grow the
plants themselves and then get to take them home...


  Jonathan Monroe                voice:  540-568-6649 (office)
  Department of Biology                  540-568-6045 (lab)
  James Madison University       fax:    540-568-3333
  Harrisonburg, VA 22807-0001    e-mail: monroejd at

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