By the end of this exercise, you should be able to identify the various lignified cell types in cross sections of stem. You should know how to tell a moss from a fern; a gametophyte from a sporophyte. You should understand which cells are haploid and which diploid, and whether they are formed by mitosis, meiosis, or fertilization. You should be able to apply this information to the reproductive cycle in gymnosperms such as pine.

The objectives of this lab are as follows:

1. To look at cellular specialization in plants, with emphasis on lignified cells that function in water transport and/or support.

2. To study the evolution of these vegetative structures in representative plants: a moss, a fern, a gymnosperm, and both a woody and a nonwoody angiosperm.

3. To examine the evolution of sexual cycles in a moss, a typical fern, and a gymnosperm.

This resource is part of the Biology Links for One Laptop Per Child course which contains units on Exploring Life; The Cell; Genetics; Mechanisms of Evolution; The Evolutionary History of Biological Diversity; Plant Form and Function; Animal Form and Function; Ecology; and Astrobiology.

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