The Evolution of Sex in Plants

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    PROF. COULTER gives a luminous sketch of the probable history of sexual reproduction in plants. He deals with the origin of pairing gametes from spores, with the differentiation of (1) eggs and sperms, (2) specialised sex organs, and (3) sexual individuals (such as the male and female gameto-phytes of Equisetum), and with the special problems of alternation of generations and parthenogenesis. In the case of plants it is plain that the function of sex is not to secure reproduction, but to secure something in connection with reproduction which is not attained by the asexual methods. The sexual method is added on to the older asexual methods, and does not replace them. Before sexual reproduction was established there ˜ were three stages:-The primal capacity for cell-division led on to spore-formation by vegetative cells, and that to spore-formation by special cells.

    The Evolution of Sex in Plants.

    By J. M. Coulter. Pp. ix + 140. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; London: At the Cambridge University Press, 1914.) Price 4s. net.

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    The Evolution of Sex in Plants . Nature 95, 447–448 (1915) doi:10.1038/095447b0

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