Over a century ago, the gametophytic calyptra was predicted to be covered by a cuticle that protects the sporophyte apex from desiccation. Budke et al. examine the moss Funaria hygrometrica using electron microscopy techniques and find that its calyptra is covered by a comparatively thick, multi-layered cuticle with cuticular pegs. The calyptra and its associated cuticle represent a unique form of maternal care that may have been essential for the evolution of the moss sporophyte.
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