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Abstract Detail

Pteridological Section/AFS

Loucks, K.A. [1], Hoffman, D.R. [1], Stephens, A.R. [1], Theisen, A.N. [1], Swatzell, Lucinda J. [2].

Cheilanthes lanosa spore germination initiates without measurable imbibition.

Cheilanthes lanosa, like Cheilanthes feei, is a species of xerophytic fern that appears to germinate without the presence of a visible source of water. However, this phenomenon has only been observed and not characterized. Furthermore, it is unclear how this would be possible, since imbibition typically precedes germination in fern spores. Using autofluorescence of chlorophyll as a marker for physiological activation, spores were assessed for any volume changes that occur prior to the expression of chlorophyll. Spores were incubated in sterile culture, viewed and measured with epifluorescence microscopy, and evaluated with digital image capture and analysis. Results confirm that there is no change in spore size before chlorophyll is expressed. This information may suggest that a physiological change in the spore occurs, such as an alteration in cytoplasmic concentrations of solutes, rather than an imbibition event.

Broader Impacts:
Seed germination in marginal or nonarable soils occurs in many weedy species. It would be desirable to control how crop seeds grow in poor soils and to produce crops that can grow as well as native species. Cheilanthes spores may possess the clues to the germination process on a molecular level that could be tapped to produce competent seeds that can germinate and thrive in poorer soils and environments.

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1 - Southeast Missouri State University, Biology, Mail Stop 6200, One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO, 63701, USA
2 - Southeast Missouri State University, Department of Biology, One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 63701-4799, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 2
Location: 556B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 2001
Abstract ID:450

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