Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Photomicrography
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Fluorescence
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Brightfield Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Fern Spores

Ferns are primitive, spore-producing vascular plants with true roots, stems, and complex leaves. Though they were the dominant type of vegetation found on Earth during the Carboniferous period, ferns are somewhat decreased in distribution in modern times, but are still found around the world.

The reproduction of most ferns involves an alternation of sexual and asexual generations. Few people can recognize the fern, however, in its sexual form, which appears as a tiny kidney-shaped plant referred to as the gametophyte or prothallium. The asexual form, known as a sporophyte, is representative of the fern as it is most commonly known. Sporophyte ferns are capable of reproducing both by vegetative cloning and by the production and dispersion of spores, which usually form on the underside of the leaves in clusters of spore cases called sporangia or sori. Depending on species, sori may appear on all or only a fraction of the plantís leaves. When these structures dry out, they rupture, releasing the numerous spores they contain into the air where they may be carried by the wind to new locales for germination.

Fern spores are typically covered in a thick cell wall, but may exhibit a wide variety of characteristics, many of which play a critical role in determining the taxonomic classification of species. The basic shape of these reproductive cells may, for instance, be either tetrahedral or bilateral, while their walls may be either smooth or variously patterned. The reason for the diversity of spores in such regards is not fully understood by modern scientists, many of the differences that occur among the cells seeming to have no functional purpose.

BACK TO THE BRIGHTFIELD MICROSCOPY IMAGE GALLERY

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 04:35 PM
Access Count Since November 25, 2003: 29391
All of the images in this gallery were captured with a QImaging Retiga camera system.
For more information on these cameras, use the button below to access
the QImaging website:
Visit the QImaging website.
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: