The waxy cuticles that coat plant surfaces have been relatively well studied in vascular plant taxa, but it is unclear how similar they may be across distant lineages. Busta et al. present comprehensive analyses of the waxes on the model moss Funaria hygrometrica including, for the first time, measurements of the amount of wax per surface area and a comparison of three aerial moss structures. These results are discussed in the context of plant evolution, the relationships between the parental and offspring moss structures, and the biosynthesis of cuticular wax compounds.Continue reading Funaria hygrometrica gametophyte and sporophyte cuticular waxes
Jessica M. Budke adds another dimension to a recent paper about the development of the calyptra in moss. Is there parent-offspring conflict?Continue reading Moss: is the mother protecting the offspring, or holding it back?
Funaria hygrometrica calyptra may represent the earliest occurrence of maternal protection via structural provisioning of a cuticle in green plants.Continue reading Maternal cuticle protects moss offspring from dehydration
Non-flowering plants have rather complex reproductive life cycles compared to the more familiar pattern of fertilization and seed formation seen in Angiosperms.Continue reading Mum versus Dad: Parent–offspring conflict in mosses
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.Continue reading Is the moss calyptra covered by a cuticle?