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A new group of Early Devonian plants with valvate sporangia containing sculptured permanent dyads

Edwards, Dianne, Richardson, John B., Axe, Lindsey and Davies, Kevin L. 2012. A new group of Early Devonian plants with valvate sporangia containing sculptured permanent dyads. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 168 (3) , pp. 229-257. 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2011.01207.x

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As part of a study to explore diversity and disparity in Early Devonian terrestrial vegetation, several hundreds of sporangia with in situ spores have been isolated from a Lochkovian locality in Shropshire. These include a small number (seven) of sporangia showing dehiscence into four valves and containing permanent sculptured dyads, belonging to the Cymbohilates horridus complex and C. cymosus, which are recorded in coeval dispersed spore assemblages. A further, previously described, mesofossil comprises an incomplete sporangium containing C. horridus that terminates a naked isotomously branching stem with stomata. The valvate sporangia are placed in a new genus, Partitatheca, containing four species, P. splendida (type), P. horrida, P. densa and P. cymosa, their names reflecting the names of the dispersed spore species and varieties. Complex ultrastructure in the walls of the dyads is similar to that in earlier dyads in the Dyadospora complex where it provides evidence for a hepatic affinity of the earliest embryophytes, but the new taxa present a combination of bryophyte and tracheophyte characters and are considered to represent a new embryophyte lineage. General discussion includes the development of dyads, more particularly their relevance to understanding the diversity in meiotic processes, and the disappearance of dyads from the dispersed spore record prior to the Middle Devonian.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QK Botany
Uncontrolled Keywords: bryophytes; cryptospores; development; embryophytes; liverworts; meiosis; tetrads; ultrastructure
Publisher: Linnean Society of London
ISSN: 0024-4074
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:11

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