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Development of the Male Gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba: A Window into the Reproductive Biology of Early Seed Plants

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Ginkgo Biloba A Global Treasure

Abstract

It has been a century since the discovery of zooidogamous reproduction among seed plants by Hirase [1, 2] and Ikeno [3]. The initial observations of motile sperm in Ginkgo and Cycas represented the culmination of progress, beginning with the discovery of the pollen tube by Amici [4], in the field of plant reproductive biology during the nineteenth century. Discovery of zooidogamy in Ginkgo and cycads in 1896 provided a critical connection, in terms of evolutionary history, between the life cycles of non-seed plants (“cryptogams”) with motile sperm and the life cycles of previously described seed plants (conifers and angiosperms) with pollen tubes and non-motile sperm [5]. Moreover, the presence of motile sperm within the male gametophytes of cycads and Ginkgo confirmed a prediction made almost one half century earlier by the renowned biologist Wilhelm Hofmeister [6] that flagellate sperm might be found among representatives of the seed plants [5].

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© 1997 Springer-Verlag Tokyo

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Friedman, W.E., Gifford, E.M. (1997). Development of the Male Gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba: A Window into the Reproductive Biology of Early Seed Plants. In: Hori, T., Ridge, R.W., Tulecke, W., Del Tredici, P., Trémouillaux-Guiller, J., Tobe, H. (eds) Ginkgo Biloba A Global Treasure. Springer, Tokyo. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-4-431-68416-9_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-4-431-68416-9_3

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Tokyo

  • Print ISBN: 978-4-431-68418-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-4-431-68416-9

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