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I. General Characteristics A. What are they? Evolved plants with simple vascular tissue ferns and other stuff


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Jim Bidlack - BIO 1304

GENERAL BOTANY Lecture 33 - Lower Vascular Plants (Part I)
I. General Characteristics

A. What are they?

1. Evolved plants with simple vascular tissue - ferns and other stuff

B. "Lower" vascular plants


1. Simple vascular tissue is present

2. They do not produce seeds - they form spores instead

3. All have swimming sperm cells and require water for fertilization

4. The sporophyte is conspicuous and usually more obvious than the gametophyte

C. Phyla of lower vascular plants

1. Psilotophyta (PPPSSSTTTT!) - no true roots; looks like wind-blown hair

2. Lycophyta (like a POGO stick) - "club moss;” looks like an upright pine tree

3. Equisetophyta - looks like a horse’s tail

4. Polypodiophyta (leaves look like a saw that could “tear,” or could be torn) - real ferns

D. What "Earth" looked like 260-395 million years ago

1. Most abundant - Lycophyta (herbs and trees)

  1. Second - giant Equisetophyta

3. Third – Polypodiophyta (ferns)

II. Definitions

A. Sporophyte - a plant (usually diploid) in which meiosis occurs to produce spores

B. Microphyll - a small leaf (connected to vascular system of stem by a single vein)

C. Sporophyll - a spore-bearing leaf

D. Sporangiophore - a branch bearing one or more sporangia


E. Sporangium (pl. sporangia) - a spore case

F. Megasporangia - spore case bearing spores that give rise to female gametophytes

G. Microsporangia - spore case bearing spores that give rise to male gametophytes

H. Sporocyte - a diploid or haploid cell that will undergo mitosis or meiosis to produce spores

I. Spore - a reproductive cell that develops into a plant without union with other cells

III. Characteristics within phyla of lower vascular plants

A. Phylum Psilophyta

1. Psilotum (genus) - also called whisk fern

a) Upright green stems from rhizome (associated with a fungus)

b) "Leaves" are small and scalelike (microphylls) - no sporophylls

c) No roots

d) Vascular simple - cylinder of xylem surrounded by phloem

e) Reproduction - sporangia in leaf axils , meiospores become released, go to gametophytes with archegonia and antheridia, sperm swims, fertilization

B. Phylum Lycophyta

1. Lycopodium (genus) - also called club moss and ground pine

a) Resemble pine seedlings - microphylls spirally arranged

b) Upright stems have sporophylls with sporangia in leaf axils

c) True roots, stems, and leaves (as will be hereafter unless specified)

d) Vascular complex - xylem and phloem mixed as anastomosing strands (like blood vessels)

e) Reproduction - Leaves bear spores (if grouped, called a cone or strobilus), meiospores become released, go to gametophytes (fungal association) with archegonia and antheridia, sperm swims, fertilization

2. Selaginella (genus) - also called spike moss

  1. Unique because it is heterosporous

  2. Microsporal (male) sperm released from antheridium can reach megasporal (female) egg of the archegonium in the sporphytic strobilus or somewhere on the ground


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