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Sexual development in ceratopteris pteridoides






National Science Council Monthly 8(3): 237-258

Sexual development in ceratopteris pteridoides

In multispore cultures of C. pteridoides, 2 distinct population factors or hormones which influence sexual development were demonstrated. Both are produced in the early germinating and/or fast growing meristic prothallia, but not in late germinating and/or slow growing ameristic prothallia which lack a notch meristem. One is an antheridium-inducing factor or antheridiogen (a gibberellin) which induces late germinating and/or slow growing ameristic prothallia (composed by a single cotylendonary or 1st lobe) to form the antheridia. Another is the maleness-maintainingg factor or IAA which inhibits the hermaphroditization of ameristic male prothallia by inhibiting the formation of female or meristic extensions with the V-shaped notch (composed of the 2nd and 3rd lobes). The latter refers to meristic prothallium or simply meristic dominance, an interprothallial correlative inhibition, which is similar to apical dominance in higher plants. To those early germinating and/or fast growing meristic prothallia, however, these 2 hormones are ineffective. Thus, the prothallia with different physiological activities (regarding time of germination and prothallial growth) appear to be differential in their susceptibility to these 2 hormones. Therefore, in isolated cultures, early germinating and/or fast growing prothallia become females, because they do not respond to antheridiogen and IAA they have produced. The late germinating and/or slow growing prothallia also become females in isolation because they lack these 2 hormones, although they are susceptible to them. The antheridiogen factor is evident event in the early culture in which the spores are beginning to germinate. If the spores are upon germination from a relatively dense culture in which 1 mg spores are randomly sown in a 10-cm dish (about 100 spores/0.05 .times. 0.5 cm2) the antheridiogen produced before isolation stimulates the germinating spores to become males in several days after isolation. If however, the isolation is carried out from a culture in which a limited number of spores (100) are sparsely and uniformly sown (100 spores/2 .times. 2 cm2), almost all germinating isolated spores become females. Even a multispore culture may produce a similar result as an isolated culture if the spores are sown at 5 mm or more intervals. In general, the more sparsely the spores are sown and/or the older the culture age is, the smaller the sex ratio and the higher the hermaphroditization percentage obtained. It was possible to maintain hermaphroditization percentage as 0 (i.e., unisexual condition) in 100-spore, 15-day culture in which the sowing density was 100 spores/1 .times. 1 cm2. When the culture period is extended, the culture tends to produce bisexual prothallia. It was possible to maintain sexual polarity up to the 31st day after sowing by increasing the sowing density from 100 spores/1 .times. 1 cm2 to 100 spores/0.2 .times. 0.2 cm2. All hermaphrodites obtained within 1 mo. after sowing were protandrous. Protogynous bisexual prothallia do not appear unless the culture period is longer than 1 mo. As 10 ppm GA3 has no influence on the prothallial population of this fern, the antheridiogen must be GA or one of its analogs and it must be produced in relatively large amounts. Since IAA in concentrations of 10 ppm inhibited population growth, endogenous IAA must be produced in minute amounts. The prothallia cannot produce antheridia in the culture containing 10 ppm abscisic acid (ABA), because the antheridiogen is counteracted by ABA; 10 ppm ABA also counteracts endogenous IAA and thus the sexual spatulate prothallia form 2nd and 3rd lobes to become females.


Accession: 006408220



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