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SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

LQ: Explain the external morphology of Nephrolepis. Add a note on its classification.

External Morphology
Sporophyte is the dominant stage and it is
differentiated into roots, stem and leaves with
true vasculature (conductive strands).
Roots arise from base of the stem and
stolon forming adventitious fibrous root
system. They show persistent root hair. They
absorb mineral salts and water and fix the
plant in the soil.
Stem is about two inches in height, thick,
woody, brown in colour. It is called rhizomatic
stem or stock or caudex because it is obliquely
placed in the soil and partially underground. It
produces stolons and compound leaves from its
aerial parts and adventitious fibrous roots from the underground part. It is rough due to
persistent leaf bases.

Position : Stolons arise from rhizomatic stem and are extra-axillary in position.
Structure : These are wire-like, thin branches which are green when young and turn brown,
at maturity. Each stolon grows slightlv upwards and bends downwards to form an arch in
the soil. At the touching point, stolon produces adventitious roots below and bud or spur
above, which develops into new sporophyte.
Function : As the stolon gives rise to new sporophytes. it performs the function of
vegetative reproduction.

Position : Leaves are spirally arranged on the aerial parts of the stem.
Structure : Each leaf is pinnately compound and shows central axis differentiated into rachis
and petiole (stipe). On rachis, leaflets are arranged on either side to form frond. Each leaflet is almost
sessile and show's lobed or auricled base. Upper auricle is large than the lower one. The leaflet is
lanceolate in shape, with crenate margin and acute apex. There is single midrib but lateral veins are
bifurcated at the tip to form forked venation. The leaflet shows presence of hydathodes on the adaxial
surface at each vein ending and sori on abaxial surface at the upper vein ending of each bifurcated
vein. The young leaves are silvery white in colour and are coiled from apex downward to form
circinate ptyxis.
Function : Leaf performs following functions :
i) It performs the function of photosynthesis.
ii) It removes excess of water by process of guttation and transpiration.
iii) It performs the function of asexual reproduction by producing sori.
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

SN: Systematic position of Nephrolepis

Division : Pterophyta i) Sporophyte differentiated into roots, stem and leaves.

Sporangia produced on leaves, either along the

ii) margin or on abaxial side.

iii) Large pinnately compound leaves.

iv) Gametophyte is small, green and free-living.

Characters same as above (Only class of the
Class - Filicinae

Sub-class i Leptosporangiatae i) Sporangium develops from single initial cell.

Jacket of the sporangium is one cell in


Sporangia are not laterally united to form


Order : Filicales i) Sori are simple, gradate or mixed.

All the spores are of same type, hence son are
Family ; Polypodiaceae i) Sori are of mixed type.
Sporangium has vertical annul us and
transverse dehiscence, with stomhim.
iii) Sporangium contains 32 to 64 spor=
In the early stages the game is
filamentous and at maturity becomes heart-shaped.
Jacket of antheridium has 3 cells. Antherozoids are
relatively few in number.
Genus : Nephrolepis i) Spores with kidney-shaped indusium.

ii) Each sporangium contains 64 spores.

SN: Ramentum

Position : These are brown scale-like epidermal outgrowths densely

covering the rhizome, stolons, petiole and rachis.
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

Structure : Each ramentum is multicellular, membranous, more or less triangular structure

which is single cell in thickness. The cells are dry with thick brown walls. The marginal cell gives out
hair like projections. The ramentum is attached to the epidermis at the broader end by a dark brown
point of attachment.

Function : Ramenta are protective in function, guarding the plant from excessive heat and rain
water. They also retain water in their axils to provide humidity.

SN: Hydathode

Position: These are white dots arranged in

two longitudinal rows on adaxial (dorsal)
surface along the margins of each pinna at
either vein ending of each bifurcated vein.
Structure : It consists of a group of
small thin walled cells sunken into a minute
oval depression and bounded by closely
placed two to three layers of rectangular
epithelial cells which are, in 'turn, surrounded
by normal epidermal cells.
Function : The glandular cell exude water
containing calcium salts, by the process of guittation (excretion in the form of liquid from
plant under root pressure). It is due to internal pressure developed as a result of active
absorption and low transpiration. The cell; of hydathode are hygroscopic and at times help to
absorb moisture from the atmosphere. They are called water stomata, as they exude water in
the form of liquid and not in the form of water vapour unlike normal stoma. When water
evaporates from the surface of hydathode, calcium carbonate is precipitated as white dots,
hence, hydathodes are sometimes also known as chalk glands.


LQ: Discuss internal structure of Nephrolepis pinna passing through the sorus. OR
T.S. of pinna passing through sorus
T.S. of pinna shows upper epidermis, mesophyll, lower epidermis and sorus.
Upper epidermis consists of single layer of closely packed, brick-shaped, chloroplasts
containing cells with their outer walls cutinized. Epidermis is distinguished by the absence of
stomata and presence of hydathode as shallow depression above vein endings.
Mesophyll consists of spongy tissue containing one type of cells (parenchymatous) with
chloroplasts; hence, the pinna is said to be isobilateral. However, the upper cells are more
compact than lower ones. It also shows vein endings in form of group of tracheids below
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

Lower epidermis is just like upper epidermis but with stoma and without hydathodes.
Sorus is attached to the lower epidermis at the vein ending and consists of:
i) Placenta, which is cushion-like parenchymatous structure providing nourishment to the
developing sporangia.
ii) Sporangia are present on either side of the placenta. Each sporangium consists of a stalk
and a capsule containing spores.
iii) Indusium, which is single layered, external protective covering. In T.S., it looks like a
mustache; however, in surface view, it appears kidney-shaped. It is attached to the placenta
by a short, massive, parenchymatous stalk.

SN: Sketch and label T.S. of pinna passing through sorus


LQ: Explain the morphology and anatomy of root in Nephrolepis.

Morohology of roots in Nephrolepis.

1. Roots arise from base of the stem and stolon forming adventitious fibrous
root system.
2. They show persistent root hair.
3. They absorb mineral salts and water and fix the plant in the soil.
Anatomy of Root in Nephrolepis:
1. The transverse section of root has three distinct parts -epiblema, cortex and
vascular cylinder.
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

2. The epiblema is the outermost layer of thin walled cells.

3. Some cells of this region produce unicellular root hairs.
4. The cortex is divided into outer parenchymatous and inner sclerenchymatous
5. The latter provides machanical support to roots.
6. The innermost region of cortex has endodermis. Next to this layer is pericycle.
7. The vascular cylinder is diarch and exarch.
8. A diarch condition consists of two protoxylem points.
9. An exarch condition refers to presence of protoxylem away from the centre of
the axis.

LQ: What is protostele?

Describe different types of
Protostele : It is the most
primitive type of stele consisting of
a solid cylinder of xylem in the
centre, surrounded by phloem
which is in turn surrounded by
single layered pericycle. Pith is
absent, e.g., fossil plant Rhynia
(aerial branch) and some living
plants like Psilotum (rhizome),
Nephrolepis (rhizome),
It is further divided into
following types :
Haplostele : It is
considered as most
primitive type of protostele. The
core of xylem is smooth. It
appears circular in a cross section and is surrounded by phloem. The origin of the xylem is
exarch as protoxylem is situated at the periphery of the xylem.
e.g. stem of Lycopdium and Selaginella.
Actionstele : In this, the pith is absent (protostele) and the centre is occupied by xylem.
Hence, it is a protostele. However, the xylem-core has radiating arms forming a stellate or
star-shaped structure (actinos - star). The xylem is exarch in origin as the protoxylems are
situated at the end of the radiating arms. Phloem completely surrounds the xylem and is in
turn surrounded by pericycle and
e.g., stolon of fern, stem of Lycopodium sermtum
Plectostele : The xylem and the phloem appear intermingled. The radiation of arms of
the xylem splits to such an extent that they appear as separate parallel plates. The phloem
completely surrounds xylem and is in turn surrounded by pericycle. Such protostele having
plate-like, exarch xylem is called plectostele.
e.g., stem of Lycopdium annotinum and Lycopdium clavatum
Mixed stele: It is considered as the most advanced type of protostele which consists of
irregular groups of xylem surrounded by phloem. It appears as if xylem is embedded in the
phloem. The vascular tissues are surrounded by pericycle and endodermis. Such stele is
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

called mixed stele.

e.g., stem of Lycopdium cernuum.


LQ: Explain the transverse section of rachis in Nephrolepis.

Internal Morphology transverse section of rachis in Nephrolepis.
In general outline, the section appears circular with a shallow groove on adaxial (dorsal)
side. It is differentiated into epidermis, ground tissue and vascular system.
Epidermis consists of single layer of closely packed rectangular cell ,with their
outer walls cutinized.
Ground tissue is differentiated into the outer zone of thick, walled lignified cells
forming hypodermis and the rest of inner ground tissue which is parenchymatous. The
cells of the ground tissue contain starch grains. The outer cells may show
chloroplasts when young. The layer of the ground tissue immediately surrounding each
vascular strand shows cell with their inner and radial walls highly thickened due to
phlobophaence forming a distinct brown ring.
Vascular system includes 2 to 5 vascular strands embedded in the ground tissue. The, are
arranged in a horse shoe-shaped manner which opens towards the groove. Each vascular
stand contains a single vascular bundle surrounded by its own single layered, thin wailed
pericycle and endodermis. Hence, each vascular strand is called meristele and the entire
vascular system is called dictyostele.
Each vascular bundle is conjoint, concentric and amphicribral or hardocentric as
xylem is surrounded by phloem. Xylem is exarch, usually comma shaped or "C" shaped with
metaxylem at one end and protoxylem at the other end. The xylem consists of only xylem
tracheids and xylem parenchyma; vessels being absent. Phloem consists of only sieve cell
and phloem parenchyma. Sieve tubes and companion cell are absent.
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

LQ: Describe the

structure of
sporangium in
Nephrolepis. Add a
note on dehiscence of
sporangium. OR
SN: Sporangium in
Sporangium or
spore sac is an asexual
reproductive organ
containing diploid
spore mother cells, which
at maturity undergo
meiosis to form haploid spores. Sporangia are produced in group on placenta and are
covered by indusium. The entire structure thus formed is called sorus.
Each sporangium consists of basal stalk and distal capsule. The stalk is solid,
multicellular with cell arranged in two rows. The capsule is biconvex and consists of a
capsule-wall known as jacket, which is single layered and thin walled. Along the 3/4th edge,
it shows cells of annulus, with their inner tangential and radial walls are
thickened. At the remaining edge, there are transversely elongated thin walled cells.
Interior of the capsule is filled up with sixteen diploid spore mother cells, which at
maturity undergo meiosis to produce 64 haploid, kidney-shaped spores. As all the spores are
of same size and shape, the plant is homosporous.
Each spore is more or less kidney-shaped, slightly flattened, dark brown body. It is
haploid containing uninucleate protoplast with some reserve food and is covered with two
coats, viz., exosporium, which is outer, thick, brown, resistive coat and endosporium, which
is inner, thin coat.
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

Dehiscence of sporangium
When the sporangium matures and the weather is
dry; the dissemination of spores takes place. In dry weather,
the outer thin walls of the cells of annulus lose water and
shrink, exerting a pressure on the transversely elongated
thin-walled cells on one side. As a result of this, the
sporangium breaks open in-between these thin-walled lip-
like cells, forming a transverse opening called stomium. As
the annulus loses more and more water, it shrinks further
and goes backwards, tearing the wall of capsule up to the
annulus and carrying most of the spores along with it. At
one stage, when pressure on annulus is released, it act like a spring and suddenly snaps
forward to its original position so that the spores are violently thrown out, in the air to get
carried away by wind. Thus, the spores are liberated and dispersed.

Write a detailed note on gametophyte of Nephrolepis.

1. Give the detailed account of prothallus in Nephrolepis.
2. With a neat and labeled diagram explain the internal structure of rhizome in
10. Discuss the process of asexual reproduction in Nephrolepis.
11. Give an account of evolution of protostele in pteridophytes.
12. Explain evolution in siphonostele in pteridophytes.
13. Give a diagrammatic representation of stellar evolution in pteridophytes.


Siphonostele : Advanced Types of Steles

In this type, pith is present at the centre of the stele in

the form of a cylinder. Parenchymatous pith is
surrounded by xylem, phloem, pericycle and
endodermis. The presence of the pith is an evolutionary
character which changes a protostele to a siphonostele.
Siphonostele is further divided into following types :
a) Ectophloic siphonostele : In this type of stele,
there is pericycle and endodermis only on the outer side
of the vascular tissues, i.e., xylem and phloem and
phloem is only on the outer side (ecto) of the xylem. The
centre is occupied by pith, e.g., stem of Osmunda and
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

b) Amphiphloic siphonostele : In this, xylem forms a ring. Phloem is present on both

the sides of the xylem ring and is known as outer phloem and inner phloem. Outside the outer
phloem, there is outer endodermis and outer pericycle and inside the inner phloem, there is
inner pericycle and inner endodermis. Xylem ring is formed of metaxylem while there are
several patches of protoxylem on the outer face of
the xylem ring (exarch). Thus, there are two
pericycles, two endodermes, two groups of phloem
and a single group of xylem. The pith is
present in the centre, e.g., Rhizome of Marsilea.
These two types of stele exhibit a continuous
cylinder of vascular tissue and is not as
evolved as the subsequent type which has a
network of vascular bundles.


Dictyostele & Atactostele

Dictyostele : In it, the siphonostele gets dissected by several overlapping leaf gaps and
results in the formation of intervening areas of vascular tissue, called Meristeles. Each
meristele consists of xylem, phloem, pericycle and endodermis, e.g., Rachis of Nephrolepis
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi

Atactostele : It is the most complex and highly evolved stele, in which, the vascular cylinder
consists of widely scattered vascular bundles in the ground tissue. These vascular bundles are
not delimited by endodermis and pericycle as both are absent. Such stele having a widely
scattered network of vascular bundles is called atactostele (Atactos meaning without any
order). It is the characteristic of monocotyledonous plants, e.g.,Maize stem.


LQ: With the help of neat and labeled diagram, explain male and female sex organs in

SN: Antheridium of Nephrolepis

Antheridia : These are male sex organs

present on the ventral surface of prothallus
near the rhizoids. Each antheridium is sessile,
spherical structure and has a wall made up 3
cells. The basal cell is called first ring cell;
the middle cell is called is called second ring
cell and the apical cell is called cap cell or lid
cell. The interior of the antheridium is filled
up with few haploid androcytes (antherozoid
mother cells). At maturity, each androcyte
metamorphoses inter spirally coiled, haploid,
multiflagellate antherozoids. The remaining cytoplasm turns mucilaeinous.
SEM II PAPER I Question Bank solution UNIT I Nephrolepi


SN: Archegonium of Nephrolepis

Archegonia: These are borne on the central cushion-

like area towards the notch on ventral surface. Each
archegonium is a sessile, inverted, flask-shaped
structure consisting of globular venter and tubular
The venter is embedded in the prothallial tissue
(cushion); hence it has no jacket of its own. It
contains single large egg or oosphere towards the
base and venter canal cell towards the neck. The
neck is short and curved towards the posterior end
(on antheridial side). The wall of the neck is single
layer in thickness with the cells arranged in four longitudinal rows and closed at the top by
lid cells. It contains a single neck canal cell with two nuclei.


Alternation of generation in Nephrolepis.

Alternation of generations
In the iife-histories of
pteridophytes, there are two
. generations viz.; diploid asexual
generation called sporophyte and
haploid sexual generation called
gametophyte. Sporophyte
produces gametophyte through asexual
reproduction and gametophyte produces
sporophyte through sexual reproduction.
As these two generation produce each
other alternately, i.e., the diploid
generation alternates with haploid
generation and so on, hence, the process
is called alternation of generations.
In fern, sporophyte is differentiated into
roots, stem and leaves. The roots absorb
mineral salt and water while the leaves
prepare food material. Thus, sporophyte
is an autotrophic, independent generation.
Being asexual generation, it produces
sori on abaxial side of
leaflets. Each sorus contains group of sporangia, which produces haploid spores after
meiosis. The spores germinate into gametophyte.

The gametophyte called prothallus is a heart-shaped structure with 5mm diameter. It shows
presence of chlorenchymatous cells to prepare food material and rhizoids to absorb mineral
salts and water. Thus, in spite of its smallness, prothallus is also an autotrophic, independent
Being sexual generation, it produces sex organs, which are produced on its ventral surface.
The male sex organs called antheridia produces male gametes called antherozoids whereas
the female sex organ called archegonia produces female gametes called eggs. Male gamete
fuses with the female gamete to form diploid zygote, which eventually develops into diploid
Thus, the diploid sporophyte produces haploid gametophyte and the haploid gametophyte
produces diploid sporophyte. Hence, diploid phase alternates with haploid phase and the
process is called alternation of generations.