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Chapter 30

BIOL 1030 Chapter 30: Chapter 30 Plant Diversity II

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Biological Sciences
BIOL 1030
Scott Kevin

Chapter 30 Plant Diversity II: The Evolution of Seed Plants Lecture Outline Overview: Feeding the World • The seed arose about 360 million years ago. • Seed plants, including gymnosperms and angiosperms, have come to dominate modern landscapes and make up the great majority of plant biodiversity. • Agriculture, the cultivation and harvest of plants (especially angiosperms), began 13,000 years ago. • Humans began the cultivation of plants independently in various regions, including the Near East, East Asia, Africa, and the Americas. • This was the single most important cultural change in the history of humanity, and it made possible the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to permanent settlements. Concept 30.1 The reduced gametophytes of seed plants are protected in ovules and pollen grains • A number of terrestrial adaptations contributed to the success of seed plants. • These adaptations include the seed, the reduction of the gametophyte generation, heterospory, ovules, and pollen. • Bryophyte life cycles are dominated by the gametophyte generation, while seedless vascular plants have sporophyte-dominated life cycles. • The trend to gametophyte reduction continued in the lineage of vascular plants that led to seed plants. • Seedless vascular plants have tiny gametophytes that are visible to the naked eye. • The gametophytes of seed plants are microscopically small and develop from spores retained within the moist sporangia of the parental sporophyte. • In seed plants, the delicate female gametophyte and the young sporophyte embryo are protected from many environmental stresses, including drought and UV radiation. • The gametophytes of seed plants obtain nutrients from their parents, while the free-living gametophytes of seedless vascular plants must fend for themselves. Heterospory is the rule among seed plants. • Nearly all seedless plants are homosporous, producing a single kind of spore that forms a hermaphroditic gametophyte. • Seed plants likely had homosporous ancestors. • All seed plants are heterosporous, producing two different types of sporangia that produce two types of spores. • Megasporangia produce megaspores, which give rise to female (egg-containing) gametophytes. • Microsporangia produce microspores, which give rise to male (sperm-containing) gametophytes. Seed plants produce ovules. • In contrast to the few species of heterosporous seedless vascular plants, seed plants are unique in retaining their megaspores within the parent sporophyte. • Layers of sporophyte tissue, integuments, envelop and protect the megasporangium. • Gymnosperm megaspores are surrounded by one integument. • Angiosperm megaspores are surrounded by two integuments. • An ovule consists of the megasporangium, megaspores, and integuments. • A female gametophyte develops from a megaspore and produces one or more egg cells. Pollen eliminated the liquid-water requirement for fertilization. • The microspores develop into pollen grains that are released from the microsporangium. • Pollen grains are covered with a tough coat containing sporopollenin. • They are carried by wind or animals. • The transfer of pollen to the vicinity of the ovule is called pollination. • The pollen grain germinates and grows as a pollen tube into the ovule, where it delivers one or two sperm into the female gametophyte. • Bryophytes and seedless vascular plants have flagellated sperm cells that swim a few centimeters through a film of water to reach the egg cells within the archegonium. • In seed plants, the female gametophyte is retained within the sporophyte ovule. • Male gametophytes travel long distances as pollen grains. • The sperm of seed plants lack flagella and do not require a film of water, as they rely on the pollen tube to reach the egg cell of the female gametophyte within the ovule. • The sperm of some gymnosperm species retain the ancestral flagellated condition, providing evidence of this evolutionary transition. • The evolution of pollen contributed to the success and diversity of seed plants. Seeds became an important means of dispersing offspring. • What is a seed? • When a sperm fertilizes an egg of a seed plant, the zygote forms and develops into a sporophyte embryo. • The ovule develops into a seed, consisting of the embryo and its food supply within a protective coat derived from the integuments. • The evolution of the seed enabled plants to resist harsh environments and disperse offspring more widely. • For bryophytes and seedless vascular plants, single-celled spores are the only protective stage in the life cycle. • Moss spores can survive even if the local environment is too cold, too hot, or too dry for the moss plants themselves to survive. • Because of their tiny size, the spores themselves can be dispersed in a dormant state to a new area. • Spores were the main way that plants spread over Earth for the first 100 million years of life on land. • The seed represents a different solution to resisting harsh environments and dispersing offspring. • In contrast to a single-celled spore, a multicellular seed is a much more complex, resistant structure. • After being released from the parent plant, a seed may remain dormant for days or years. • Under favorable conditions, it germinates and the sporophyte embryo emerges as a seedling. Concept 30.2 Gymnosperms bear “naked” seeds, typically on cones • The ovules and seeds of gymnosperms (“naked seeds”) develop on the surfaces of modified leaves that usually form cones (strobili). • In contrast, ovules and seeds of angiosperms develop in enclosed chambers called ovaries. • The most familiar gymnosperms are the conifers, cone-bearing trees such as pine, fir, and redwood. The four phyla of extant gymnosperms are Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Gnetophyta, and Coniferophyta. • There are four plant phyla grouped as gymnosperms. • Phylum Ginkgophyta consists of only a single extant species, Ginkgo biloba. • This popular ornamental species has fanlike leaves that turn gold before they fall off in the autumn. • Landscapers usually plant only male trees because the coats of seeds produced by female plants produce a repulsive odor as they decay. • Cycads (phylum Cycadophyta) have large cones and palmlike leaves. • 130 species of cycads survive today. • Cycads flourished in the Mesozoic era, which was known as the “Age of Cycads.” • Phylum Gnetophyta consists of three very different genera. • Weltwitschia plants, from deserts in southwestern Africa, have straplike leaves that are among the largest known leaves. • Gentum species are tropical trees or vines. • Ephedra (Mormon tea) is a shrub of the American deserts. • The conifers belong to the largest gymnosperm phylum, the phylum Coniferophyta. • The term conifer comes from the reproductive structure, the cone, which is a cluster of scalelike sporophylls. • Although there are only about 600 species of conifers, a few species dominate vast forested regions in the Northern Hemisphere where the growing season is short. • Conifers include pines, firs, spruces, larches, yews, junipers, cedars, cypresses, and redwoods. • Most conifers are evergreen, retaining their leaves and photosynthesizing throughout the year. • Some conifers, like the dawn redwood and tamarack, are deciduous, dropping their leaves in autumn. • The needle-shaped leaves of some conifers, such as pines and firs, are adapted for dry conditions. • A thick cuticle covering the leaf and the placement of stomata in pits further reduce water loss. • Much of our lumber and paper comes from the wood (actually xylem tissue) of conifers. • This tissue gives the tree structural support. • Coniferous trees are amongst the largest and oldest organisms of Earth. • Redwoods from northern California can grow to heights of over 100 m. • One bristlecone pine, also from California, is more than 4,600 years old, and may be the world’s oldest living organism. The Mesozoic era was the age of gymnosperms. • The gymnosperms probably descended from progymnosperms, a group of Devonian plants that were heterosporous but lacked seeds. • The first seed plants to appear in the fossil record were gymnosperms dating from around 360 million years ago. • Angiosperms arose more than 200 million years later. • The two surviving clades of seed plants are gymnosperms and angiosperms. • Early gymnosperms lived in Carboniferous ecosystems dominated by seedless vascular plants. • The flora and fauna of Earth changed dramatically during the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea in the Permian. • Climatic conditions became warmer and drier, favoring the spread of gymnosperms. • Many groups of organisms disappeared while others emerged. • Amphibians decreased in diversity and were replaced by reptiles, which were better adapted to dry conditions. • The lycophytes, horsetails, and ferns that had dominated in Carboniferous swamps were largely replaced by gymnosperms. • The change in organisms was so dramatic that geologists use the end of the Permian, 251 million years ago, as the boundary between the Paleozoic (“old life”) and Mesozoic (“new life”) eras. • The terrestrial animals of the Mesozoic, including dinosaurs, were supported by a vegetation consisting mostly of conifers and cycads, both gymnosperms. • The dinosaurs did not survive the mass extinction at the end of the Mesozoic, but many gymnosperms persisted and are still an important part of Earth’s flora. The life cycle of a pine demonstrates the key reproductive adaptations of seed plants. • The life cycle of a pine illustrates the three key adaptations to terrestrial life in seed plants: 1. Increasing dominance of the sporophyte. 2. The advent of the seed as a resistant, dispersal stage in the life cycle. 3. The evolution of pollen as an airborne agent bringing gametes together. • The pine tree is the sporophyte. • It produces its sporangia on scalelike sporophylls that are packed densely on cones. • Conifers, like all seed plants, are heterosporous. • Male and female gametophytes develop from different types of spores produced by separate cones: small pollen cones and large ovulate cones. • Most pine species produce both types of cones. • A pollen cone contains hundreds of microsporangia held on small sporophylls. • Each cone produces microspore mother cells that undergo meiosis to produce haploid microspores. • Each microspore develops into a pollen grain containing a male gametophyte. • A larger ovulate cone consists of many scales, each with two ovules. • Each ovule includes a megasporangium. • Ovulate cones produce megaspore mother cells that undergo meiosis to produce four haploid cells, one of which will develop into a megaspore. • Surviving megaspores develop into female gametophytes, which are retained within the sporangia. • Two or three archegonia, each with an egg, develop within the gametophyte. • During pollination, windblown pollen falls on the ovulate cone and grows into the ovule through the micropyle. • Fertilization of egg and sperm follows. • The pine embryo, the new sporophyte, has a rudimentary root and several embryonic leaves. • The female gametophyte surrounds and nourishes the embryo. • The ovule develops into a pine seed, which consists of an embryo (new sporophyte), its food supply (derived from gametophyte tissue), and a seed coat derived from the integuments of the parent tree (parent sporophyte). • It takes three years from the appearance of young cones on a pine tree to the formation of mature seeds. • The scales of ovulate cone separate and the seeds are typically dispersed by the wind. • A seed that lands in a habitable place germinates, and its embryo emerges as a pine seedling. Concept 30.3 The reproductive adaptations of angiosperms include flowers and fruits • Angiosperms, commonly known as flowering plants, are vascular seed plants that produce flowers and fruits. • They are the most diverse and geographically widespread of all plants, including more than 90% of plant species. • There are about 250,000 known species of angiosperms. • All angiosperms are placed in a single phylum, the phylum Anthophyta. The flower is the defining reproductive adaptation of angiosperms. • The flower is an angiosperm structure specialized for sexual reproduction. • In many species of angiosperms, insects and other animals transfer pollen from one flower to female sex organs of another. • Some species that occur in dense populations, like grasses, are wind pollinated. • A flower is a specialized shoot with up to four circles of modified leaves: sepals, petals, stamens, and carpals. • The sepals at the base of the flower are modified leaves that are usually green and enclose the flower before it opens. • The petals lie inside the ring of sepals. • These are often brightly colored in plant species that are pollinated by animals. • They typically lack bright coloration in wind-pollinated plant species. • Sepals and petals are sterile floral parts, not directly involved in reproduction. • Stamens, the male reproductive organs, are sporophylls that produce microspores that will give rise to pollen grains containing male gametophytes. • A stamen consists of a stalk (the filament) and a terminal sac (the anther) where pollen is produced. • Carpals are female sporophylls that produce megaspores and their products, female gametophytes. • At the tip of the carpal is a sticky stigma that receives pollen. • A style leads to the ovary at the base of the carpal. • Ovules are protected within the ovary. Fruits help disperse the seeds of angiosperms. • A fruit usua
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