Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 123, Issue 6, pp 777–787 | Cite as

Comparative development of the sporophyte–gametophyte junction in six moss species

  • Mihoko UzawaEmail author
  • Masanobu Higuchi
Regular Paper


Developmental anatomy of the sporophyte–gametophyte junction in six moss species is described with special reference to sporophyte penetration into the gametophytic tissue. The sporophyte–gametophyte junction in mosses is classified into two types based on vaginula morphology: in the “true vaginula” type, the junction involves only an epigonium derived from the archegonium, and in the other “shoot vaginula” type, it involves a shoot and an epigonium. In both of the types, the sporophyte penetrates into an epigonial tissue accompanied by degeneration of epigonium cells under the developing sporophyte. In the “shoot vaginula” type, the sporophyte further penetrates into the conducting strand or similar cells that seem to be induced by stimulation of fertilization. It is likely that the difference in growth rate between the epigonium and the capped sporophyte is a mechanical force for sporophyte penetration.


Bryophytes Development Mosses Placenta Sporophyte–gametophyte junction 



We express our thanks to Dr. M. Kato (National Museum of Nature and Science), Dr. R. Imaichi (Japan Women’s University), Dr. T. Yamashita (Ochanomizu University), Dr. M. Shimamura (Hiroshima University), Dr. T. Arikawa (Tottori Prefectural Museum), Dr. B. Estébanez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), and members of National Museum of Nature and Science for helpful discussions and suggestions. We extend our appreciation to Dr. K. Nishikawa (Ochanomizu University) for sampling material and technical advice for paraffin sectioning, Dr. S. Koi (Nara Institute of Science and Technology) for his technical advice for resin sectioning and useful suggestions, Ms. T. Hiraoka (Hiraoka Environmental Science Laboratory) and Mr. H. Kiguchi (Kuki High School, Saitama) for their help with collecting materials. We also grateful to Dr. W. R. Buck (New York Botanical Garden) for reading the manuscript and giving valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of BotanyNational Museum of Nature and ScienceTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Ibaraki Nature MuseumBandoJapan

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