Developing fern prothallus, micrograph

Developing fern prothallus, micrograph

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Credit: DR KEITH WHEELER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Developing fern prothallus. Light micrograph of a section through the prothallus (bottom, heart-shaped) of a 'male fern' (Dryopteris filix-mas) developing into a young sporophyte (top, leaf-like). The prothallus is the gametophyte stage in the life-cycle of a fern. It develops from a germinating spore and usually consists of a number of rhizoids (root-like hairs) and the sex organs: male antheridia and female archegonia. The sporophyte is the fully-grown spore-producing stage of the fern. It grows out of the prothallus and develops into a new independent fern. Magnification: x6 when printed 10 centimetres wide

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Keywords: 1, anatomical, anatomy, antheridia, antheridium, archegonia, archegonium, biological, biology, botanical, botany, cell, cells, developing, developmental, dryopteris filix-mas, female, flora, gametophyte, germinating, germination, histological, histology, leaf, leaves, life stage, life-cycle, light micrograph, light microscope, male, male fern, nature, no-one, nobody, one, organs, part, parts, plant, plants, prothallus, reproductive structure, rhizoid, rhizoids, section, sectioned, sex organ, single, spore, spore-producing, sporophyte, structures, white background, wildlife, young

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