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Small insects transport moss sperm

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    We think of insects as this planet s primary transporters of pollen but hundreds (thousands?) of plant species enjoy sexual reproduction without making a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 25 10:19 AM
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      We think of insects as this planet's primary transporters of pollen but hundreds (thousands?) of plant species enjoy sexual reproduction without making a single grain of pollen, cone or flower.  Over the last six years some authorities have noted that mites and spring-tails carry the sperm of some moss species.  Does this occur because these little arthropods like to live in moist, moss beds or do mosses produce something to attract them?  Since mites and springtails are "visually challenged" there should be a scent cue.  Please go to the link below and read the Abstract.  Popularized accounts of this research are now on other websites as well.  If mosses employ odor as a common attractant to turn arthropods into sperm taxis some important, college text books on introductory botany will have to make an addition.  Could this also mean that the haploid, bisexual, prothallus stage in the life-cycle of most ferns does the same thing?


      Peter Bernhardt
    • Janean Sharkey
      Interesting! Can anyone send me the full article for this study? http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11330.html And while your at it,
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 1, 2012
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        Interesting! Can anyone send me the full article for this study?


        And while your at it, I would appreciate the following paper as well. 

        Aquatic insects in British Columbia: 100 years of study. J. Entomol. Soc. Brit. Columbia 98: 61-81

        Thanks

        Janean

        On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM, Peter Bernhardt <bernhap2@...> wrote:
         

        We think of insects as this planet's primary transporters of pollen but hundreds (thousands?) of plant species enjoy sexual reproduction without making a single grain of pollen, cone or flower.  Over the last six years some authorities have noted that mites and spring-tails carry the sperm of some moss species.  Does this occur because these little arthropods like to live in moist, moss beds or do mosses produce something to attract them?  Since mites and springtails are "visually challenged" there should be a scent cue.  Please go to the link below and read the Abstract.  Popularized accounts of this research are now on other websites as well.  If mosses employ odor as a common attractant to turn arthropods into sperm taxis some important, college text books on introductory botany will have to make an addition.  Could this also mean that the haploid, bisexual, prothallus stage in the life-cycle of most ferns does the same thing?



        Peter Bernhardt


      • Janean Sharkey
        I have received the Nature article, thank you!
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 1, 2012
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          I have received the Nature article, thank you!



          On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM, Preeti Virkar <preetivirkar85@...> wrote:
          Hi
          Hope this is what you are looking for. 
          Preeti

          On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 10:07 PM, Janean Sharkey <jksharkey@...> wrote:
           

          Interesting! Can anyone send me the full article for this study?



          And while your at it, I would appreciate the following paper as well. 

          Aquatic insects in British Columbia: 100 years of study. J. Entomol. Soc. Brit. Columbia 98: 61-81

          Thanks

          Janean

          On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM, Peter Bernhardt <bernhap2@...> wrote:
           

          We think of insects as this planet's primary transporters of pollen but hundreds (thousands?) of plant species enjoy sexual reproduction without making a single grain of pollen, cone or flower.  Over the last six years some authorities have noted that mites and spring-tails carry the sperm of some moss species.  Does this occur because these little arthropods like to live in moist, moss beds or do mosses produce something to attract them?  Since mites and springtails are "visually challenged" there should be a scent cue.  Please go to the link below and read the Abstract.  Popularized accounts of this research are now on other websites as well.  If mosses employ odor as a common attractant to turn arthropods into sperm taxis some important, college text books on introductory botany will have to make an addition.  Could this also mean that the haploid, bisexual, prothallus stage in the life-cycle of most ferns does the same thing?



          Peter Bernhardt




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