Welcome to year three of Creature Feature! This month, I talked to my colleague Joel Nitta about his research on the hidden halves of ferns: the fern gametophyte. The piece is here.
I was editing this piece when visiting my friend from college, Jasmine Rah, and when we were discussing some of the trickier concepts in the piece, namely ferns’ strange sex determination system, Jasmine decided the piece would be well-served by a cartoon illustration of the process. Here’s what she drew!
Finally, some references:
- Tanaka, et al. 2014. Antheridiogen determines sex in ferns via a spatiotemporally split gibberellin synthesis pathway. Science. 346: 463-473.
- Dassler, C.L. and D.R. Farrar. 2001. Significant of gametophyte form in long-distance colonization by tropical, epiphytic ferns. Brittonia 53: 352-369.
- Farrar, D.R. 1998. The tropical flora of rockhouse cliff formations in the eastern United States. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 125: 91-108.