Original Research

The evolution of gametangiophores in Southern African Marchantiales (Hepaticae) : a hypothesis

S. M. Perold
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 13, No 1 | a576 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v13i1.576 | © 1994 S. M. Perold | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 1994 | Published: 09 July 1994

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S. M. Perold,, South Africa

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Members of the thallose liverwort order, Marchantiales, display great diversity in their gametangiophores (specialized gametangium-bearing branches), as well as in their sporophytes (typically consisting of a foot, seta and spore-containing capsule). An attempt is made to trace the phylogeny or evolutionary history of Southern African members of the order by examining and comparing the aforementioned structures in a few key examples such as the genera Oxymitra, Exormotheca, Targionia, Riccia, Lunularia, Asterella, Cryptomitrium and Marchantia. It is concluded that there is a mosaic of primitive and advanced characters in the gametangiophores of the examples cited and that a linear mode of descent is not acceptable, but that a branched type of configuration is more probable.


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