Rhizoid Differentiation in Fern Spores: Experimental Manipulation

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Science  20 Aug 1976:
Vol. 193, Issue 4254, pp. 687-689
DOI: 10.1126/science.193.4254.687


Germination in spores of the fern Onoclea sensibilis is initiated by an asymmetric division that partitions the spore into two cells of unequal size. The unequal daughter cells differentiate immediately into distinct types. When spores are germinated on the surface of solutions of methanol, the initial division is symmetrical, and the daughter cells from this equal division develop into the same type of cell. The differentiation of a rhizoid from the smaller cell in untreated spores is suppressed by methanol treatment.