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Abstract Detail

Phycological Section

Wilson, Nicole [1], Trygg, Matthew [1], Byers, Diane [2], Cook, Martha [2].

Seta function in the Coleochaetales (Streptophyta).

The green alga Chaetosphaeridium and its sister taxon Coleochaete have distinctive sheathed hairs (setae) that grow at the top of their cells. The hair sheaths have thick walls and the length of the sheath is comparable to the diameter of the cell, while the much narrower hairs are many times longer than the cells. Despite what is apparently a considerable amount of resources and energy involved in making these complex hairs, their function is not known. One of the hypotheses proposed for hair function is nutrient acquisition. Currently we are testing this hypothesis experimentally by growing Coleochaete and Chaetosphaeridium in several defined inorganic nutrient media. Specimens grown under controlled light and temperature conditions were observed with a light microscope using differential interference contrast microscopy. Specimens were photographed, then hair length and thallus size were measured. Preliminary results indicate that composition of nutrient media does affect hair length in Coleochaete irregularis and Chaetosphaeridium globosum. In Chaetosphaeridium there is a positive correlation between thallus size and hair length in some nutrient media but not others. Since Coleochaete and Chaetosphaeridium are closely related to the ancestry of plants, discoveries about their cell structure and function may be relevant to understanding the evolution of plant growth and form.

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1 - Illinois State University, Biological Sciences, Campus Box 4120, Normal, IL, 61790-4120, USA
2 - Illinois State University, Department of Biological Sciences, CAMPUS BOX 4120, NORMAL, IL, 61790-4120, USA


Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPC005
Abstract ID:921
Candidate for Awards:None

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