THE fungus Saprolegnia is chosen as an example among the lower plants. This fungus lives on dead insects, and shows three distinct stages of its development:—(1) vegetative growth of the mycelium; (2) asexual reproduction by motile zoospores; (3) sexual reproduction by male and female organs. Under ordinary conditions these three stages follow one another quite regularly until, after the ripening of the resting spores, the fungus dies; but, according to the special conditions of every stage, it is possible to produce them as we desire, and also to alter their succession. Under very favourable conditions of nutrition the fungus must continuously grow, without being propagating and without dying. Numerous other lower plants, as fungi and algae, show the same relations to environment.
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Alterations of the Development and Forms of Plants as a Result of Environment 1 . Nature 83, 414 (1910). https://doi.org/10.1038/083414b0