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Effect Of Population Density In Sexual Development,

1362 words - 6 pages

Investigating the effect of population density and mechanism of sexual
development in two strains of C-fern gametophytes
Chanda Singoyi
The gametophytes used in this experiment are of C-ferns. They tend to mature and produce spores at temperature of 28oC and conditions of high humidity. The spores that germinate first are hermaphrodites. Hermaphrodites tend to produce a pheromone called antheridiogen. It is this pheromone that causes later germinating spores to become male.
In wild type culture of C-ferns, it is expected that there will be a high concentration of antheridiogen since the hermaphrodites are producing antheridiogen. The greater the population density of C-ferns, the higher the concentration of antheridiogen; hence a high percentage of male gametophytes in the wild type cultures.
In the experiment, a culture of her1 culture was used to investigate the effect of population density on sexual development of the C-fern Gametophytes. What was unusual about the her1 culture is that no males were present in the culture.
It is either that no antheridiogen was produced by the her1 hermaphrodites hence the absence of male gametophytes or the her1 gametophytes do not have receptors to perceive the antheridiogen which could result in the absence of the male gametophytes.
If the hypothesis that the her1 hermaphrodites do not produce antheridiogen is correct, the wild type culture and her1 filtrate will have the same percentage of males as the wild type culture and distilled water. If the hypothesis that her1 do not have receptors that perceive antheridiogen is correct, then her1 culture and wild type filtrate will have the same percentage of males as her1 culture and distilled water.
As the population density increased, so did the male gametophytes of the wild type strain; but there were no male gametophytes at any population density in the Her 1 strain (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Effect of population density on the percentage of male gametophytes in wild type and her1 Ceratopteris

There was the same percentage of males, in both the wild type cultures treated her1 filtrate and the wild type cultures treated with no filtrate (Figure 2). There was the same percentage of males, in both the her1 cultures treated with wild type filtrate and the her1 cultures treated with no filtrate. There were a higher percentage of males in the wild type cultures treated with wild type filtrate than the wild type cultures treated with no filtrate. The population of male gametophytes increased with the filtrate concentration in the wild type culture and her1 filtrate and the wild type culture and wild type filtrate, but there were no male gametophytes at any filtrate concentration in the her1 culture and wild type filtrate.

Figure 2 Effect of filtrate concentration on the percentage of male gametophytes in wild type culture and her1 filtrate, wild type culture and wild type filtrate and her1 culture and wild type...

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