Monday, 26 April 2010

A ‘Fern’ is a vascular (it has vessels that conduct and circulate fluids) plant, which actually has stems, roots and leaves. ‘Ferns’ reproduce totally differently from the way other seed plants do, this is because they do not consist of flowers and seeds. As a substitute for these qualities a ‘fern’ has an alteration of generations (Life Cycle).

A Ferns Life Cycle (Broken Down):

Basically during the ‘Ferns’ sporophyte stage (the spore-producing phase in the life cycle) the ‘Fern’ produces haploid spores by the process called meiosis (cell division, which produces reproductive cells in sexually reproducing organisms). The spore then grows into a gametophyte (the multicellular structure, which consists of a photosynthetic prothallus) by the process called mitosis (cell division in, which the nucleus divides into nuclei containing the same number of chromosomes). The gametophyte then produces gametes (this is often both sperm and egg on the same prothallus), by mitosis. A mobile (capable of moving readily) sperm flagellate (cells with one or more whip-like organelles called flagella) fertilizes an egg that remains attached to the prothallus. After the egg has been fertilized it becomes a diploid zygote (an organism or cell having the normal amount of DNA per cell, which is the result of the union of a haploid spermatozoon and ovum) and grows by mitosis into a sporophyte (the ‘Fern’ plant).

Now that I have broken down the process of a ‘Ferns’ reproduction, I think that it would be ideal to look at existing 2D and 3D visual examples, which effectively demonstrate the life cycle of a ‘Fern’.

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