The life­cy­cle of moss

The amaz­ing life­cy­cle of these plants is noth­ing short of a botan­i­cal marvel

How It Works - - ENVIRONMENT -

1. Spore dis­persed

The cap falls away to re­veal a fine, tooth-like struc­ture that holds the spores. As this peri­s­tome be­gins to dry they pull back, re­leas­ing the spores with the breeze.

2. Pro­tonema de­vel­op­ment

The spore usu­ally lands fur­ther away from the par­ent plants. When it rains the spore will burst into life and form a pro­tonema that branches out like a net­work.

3. New ga­me­to­phyte

After a pe­riod of growth, the pro­tonema buds, form­ing a new ga­me­to­phyte that is ei­ther male or fe­male.

4. Egg growth

The egg stays in the venter and ma­tures into an em­bryo be­fore one end starts to grow into the par­ent plant’s stem to ac­cess nu­tri­ents and wa­ter.

5. Zy­gote for­ma­tion

The em­bryo starts to form a long stalk that grows up­wards, split­ting the venter cham­ber and car­ry­ing half of it up into the air.

6. Sporo­phyte de­vel­op­ment

This re­sults in a small diploid (con­tain­ing two sets of chro­mo­somes) plant called a sporo­phyte that is at­tached to the top of the fe­male stem.

6 5 Fer­til­i­sa­tion 4 Male ga­me­to­phyte 1 2 3 3 Fe­male ga­me­to­phyte

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