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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Glauser, Abby [1], Harper, Carla [1], Taylor, Thomas [1], Taylor, Edith [1], Marshall, Craig [2], Olcott Marshall, Alison [2].

Reexamination and analysis of microspore contents in Pennsylvanian spores and pollen grains.

Carboniferous coal balls contain exceptional examples of morphological and anatomical details of plant material. Despite the wide range of microscopic detail that has been described and reported, there is still information about plant structure and organization that remains poorly understood. For example, several authors have described various cell contents as cytoplasm, nuclei, and even chromosomes. Some of these examples of extraordinary preservation include spores of Flemingites schopfii, a lycopod, Lasiostrobus polysacci, with characters suggesting gymnospermous affinity, and Peltastrobus reedae, a sphenophyte. Within the spores of P. reedae are spherical structures approximately 3.6 to 5.4 μm in diameter that were initially described as “nuclei” with well-defined chromatin granules. Although the microspore contents were only described by Baxter (1970), similar structures have been reported in F. schopfii and L. polysacci. It is important to note that all of these reports were based on observations of spores prepared from acetate peels. In the current study, acetate peels and paleontological thin sections of the original material were used to better resolve these cell contents. A primary focus of the study seeks to determine the chemical composition and possible origin of these spherical structures, and whether mineral or original proteinaceous material is present. To examine these hypotheses we employed ultraviolet (UV) Raman microspectroscopy to elucidate chemical composition. Preliminary results using this technique indicate the presence of a polyaromatic carbon network and calcite in the “nuclei” of P. reedae spores, and underscore the absence of proteinaceous material. These findings, however, can be modified as a result of thermal maturity, which may transform or eliminate chemical signatures. In addition to UV Raman microspectroscopy, other analytical techniques will be considered in this presentation. These findings may be used as a platform for future paleobotanical studies for determining the origin and identity of fossil plant cell contents.

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1 - University of Kansas, Department of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Haworth Hall, Lawrence, KS, 66045-2106, USA
2 - University of Kansas, Geology, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Lindley Hall, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045, United States

Raman microspectroscopy
fossil cell contents
thermal maturity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 3
Location: Melrose/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 3002
Abstract ID:799
Candidate for Awards:Isabel Cookson Award,Maynard F. Moseley Award

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