Date of Award

1971

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Plant Sciences and Entomology

First Advisor

Richard L. Hauke

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to explore what effect light quality and light intensity and various sugars have on the sexual expression of Eguisetum gametophytes and to determine some characteristics of the red pigment in Eguisetum gametophytes.

Light quality and light intensity were employed to seek the presence of a morphogenetic factor involved in the sexual expression of Eguisetum gametophytes. The gametophytes were grown in mass culture in petri dishes and singly in test tubes under red light and white light or under high light intensity and low light intensity. Light quality was employed when the Eguisetum species was Eguisetum hyemale. When the species was Eguisetum arvense, light intensity was employed. A higher percentage of antheridial gametophytes in mass culture in petri dishes than singly in test tubes under either red light or high light intensity would indicate an interaction among the gametophytes due to a diffusible substance and thus would indicate that light quality or light intensity was probably involved in a mechanism which activated a morphogenetic factor determining the sex of Eguisetum gametophytes. In mass culture in petri dishes, the morphogenetic factor activated by either red light or high light intensity would influence the sexual expression of other gametophytes in the same petri dish; whereas, singly in test tubes the gametophytes are isolated from each other so that any morphogenetic factor that is produced could not influence the sexual expression of the gametophytes. The factor would probably be some sort of diffusible substance comparable to the antheridogens of ferns. The results were ambiguous.

Mannitol, sucrose and glucose were added separately to Bold's basal medium to determine what effect these sugars have on the sexual expression of Eguisetwn gametophytes. The results were ambiguous. The red pigment often associated with Eguisetum antheridial production was isolated by column chromatography and some characteristics were determined using visible light spectrophotometry. It is definitely not rhodoxanthin, as reported, but could not be identified other than to be a carotenoid. This study showed that Eguisetum gametophytes are a difficult system with which to experiment. It seems the sensitivity of Eguisetwn spores to light quality and light intensity can vary.

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