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Insect-Assisted Fertilization in Moss Moss sperm can swim, but plant ecologist Nils Cronberg suspected that they sometimes hitch a ride on crawling insects or mites (tiny animals related to spiders). To test this hypothesis he carried out an experiment. He placed patches of male and female moss gametophytes in dishes, either next to one another or with water-absorbing plaster between them. The plaster prevented sperm from Swimming between plants. He then looked at how the presence or absence of insects affected the number of sporophytes formed. FIGURE 22.8 shows his results. FIGURE 22.8 Sporophyte production in female moss patches with and without either crawling insects (springtails) or mites. No Sporophytes formed in the animal-free dishes when moss patches were 2 or 4 centimeters apart Does this study support the hypothesis that insects and mites aid moss fertilization?

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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337408332

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Chapter
Section
BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337408332
Chapter 22, Problem 3DAA
Textbook Problem
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Insect-Assisted Fertilization in Moss Moss sperm can swim, but plant ecologist Nils Cronberg suspected that they sometimes hitch a ride on crawling insects or mites (tiny animals related to spiders). To test this hypothesis he carried out an experiment. He placed patches of male and female moss gametophytes in dishes, either next to one another or with water-absorbing plaster between them. The plaster prevented sperm from Swimming between plants. He then looked at how the presence or absence of insects affected the number of sporophytes formed. FIGURE 22.8 shows his results.

Chapter 22, Problem 3DAA, Insect-Assisted Fertilization in Moss Moss sperm can swim, but plant ecologist Nils Cronberg

FIGURE 22.8 Sporophyte production in female moss patches with and without either crawling insects (springtails) or mites. No Sporophytes formed in the animal-free dishes when moss patches were 2 or 4 centimeters apart

Does this study support the hypothesis that insects and mites aid moss fertilization?

Summary Introduction

To determine: Whether the experimental study support the hypothesis that insects and mites aid moss fertilization.

Concept introduction: Mosses are flowerless, non-vascular, seedless plants, reproduce using spores, and have gametophyte dominant life cycle. The spores are dispersed through water for fertilization. The sperms swim through water to reach egg. Sometimes in search of food, small insects inadvertently transport the sperm from one plant to egg of another plant.

Explanation of Solution

As given in the problem statement, the plant ecologist hypothesized that moss sperm sometimes hitch a ride on crawling insects or mites and tested it. He made an experimental design where he placed patches of male and female moss gametophytes in dishes, either next to one another or with water-absorbing plaster between them. He checked for the production of number of sporophytes in female moss patches with and without insects. He also varied the distance between male and female patches. Sporophytes are formed after fertilization between male and female gametes.

Refer to Fig. 22.8, “Sporophyte production in female moss patches with and without insects (springtails) or mites” in the textbook...

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