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Fertilisation of prothalli

  • Subject: [ferns] Fertilisation of prothalli
  • From: "Brian Swale" bj@caverock.net.nz
  • Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 10:08:29 +1300

Hello Doret

You wrote
> what should I do with the 
> containers where the prothalli are already big with no fronds.

The male gametes (sperms) have to swim to the egg in the archegonium if 
fertilisation is to take place. This is a process that is commonly found in 
nature and you may possibly have heard of it elsewhere. =|;-)>

If they are to swim over the surface of the prothallus, or between prothalli, 
they cannot swim in dry conditions, and you must give them some water.  
You could spray a fine mist over the prothalli so that they stay moist at least 
for some hours, or you can actually flood them with luke-warm water for, say, 
30 minutes, then carefully let it drain off.

That is what I recommend; others may have alternative advice to give.


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