Evolution of Green Plants

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Scanning electron micrograph of Equisetum sperm cells. Image by K. S. Renzaglia (http://www.science.siu.edu/landplants/Sphenophyta/sphenophyta.html).

Spring 2012

EEB 3220 (3 cr)

EEB 3220W (W, 4 cr)

EEB 5220 (graduate, 3 cr)

Lectures: T/TH 12:30-13:45 in Torrey Life Sciences (TLS) 301
EEB3221 (lab) students: To lab home page.

Some lectures note files are too large to be posted on this site. Instead you will see a link that takes you to the UCONN dropbox. You must be logged in the UCONN system to access these. The files will be on the server for 14 days. So download them ASAP.

Instructor Contact Information

Louise A. Lewis Associate Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
office: 200 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-6723
email: louise.lewis@uconn.edu

Bernard Goffinet Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
office: 300 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-5290
email: bernard.goffinet@uconn.edu

Where are our offices? BioPharmacy building, N end of building touching TLS, around the corner from elevator (Dr. Lewis is on the 2nd floor and Dr. Goffinet on the 3rd). If you come from TLS and go up the stairs, enter floor and take hallway on your left.


Pdficon small.gif Download EEB3220 course Syllabus (requires password) for info on grading and course policies.
Pdficon small.gif EEB3220W students: Download instructions (requires password) prior to our first W meeting

Textbook and readings

Textbook: Willis and McElwain (2002): The evolution of plants. Oxford University Press. Additional readings from the primary literature will be assigned to some lectures through links in the schedule below. This material (textbook and papers) is considered part of the lecture material and must be read for the midterm and final exams.


  • Assignment in preparation of final: (NOTE THIS IS A NEW VERSION POSTED WEDNESDAY MORNING)Pdficon small.gif Finalassignment.docx
  • Final study guide: part 1 . Here you'll find a set of questions you should consider answering in preparation of the final exam (these address the comprehensive part of the final and the lecture material presented by Dr. Goffinet: Pdficon small.gif finalstudyguide2012.doc
  • Watch This: Moss helps chart the conquest of land by plants
  • Learn more about the Rhynie Chert at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/rhynie/intro.htm</br>


Notes: downloads require password; best viewed in Adobe Reader.

Date Topic Reading / Assignment Prof.
T 1/17/12 Pdficon small.gif Introduction W&E Ch. 1 & first pages of Ch. 2,
Pdficon small.gif Assignment1lifecycle.doc
Th 1/19/12 Pdficon small.gif Before land plants and Introduction to Green algae
See here for more about secondary endosymbiosis
W&E remainder of Ch. 2 plus pp 67-74,
Pdficon small.gifAssignment 2
T 1/24/12 Pdficon small.gif Aquatic ancestors of embryophytes Assignment 1 Due (at start of class)
Tell us which seminar you will attend (assignment 3)
Th 1/26/12 Transition to land
Download the lecture notes here
Pdficon small.gif Tomescuetal2008.pdf Goffinet
T 1/31/12 Pdficon small.gif Succeeding on land: “earliest” embryophytes
You can also download the large pdf from here [1]
Pdficon small.gif Notes on bryophytes Goffinet
Th 2/2/12 Conquering land: early Polysporangiophytes
You can download the pdf from here [2] or get a downsized version Pdficon small.gif here
W&E Ch. 3: end of chapter Goffinet
T 2/7/12 Origin of vascular plants and biogeography of early land plants
You can download the notes here [3]
W&E remainder of Ch. 3: 51-67, 77-80
Assignment 2 Due (at start of class)
Th 2/9/12 Physiological desiccation tolerance; get notes here [4] Pdficon small.gif Oliveretal2005.pdf Lewis
T 2/14/12 The first forests (evolution of the stele and roots)
You can download the notes here [5]
W&E remainder of Ch. 4: 81-92 & 99-110 Goffinet
Th 2/16/12 The first forests (evolution of leaves and heterospory)
You can download the notes here [6]
W&E remainder of Ch. 4: 92-99 & 112-129 Goffinet
T 2/21/12 Descent with modification: evolution of lignin, stomata and seeds
You can download the notes here [7]
Th 2/23/12 Evolution of organellar genomes, Pdficon small.gif Feb23Lecture Pdficon small.gif Timmisetal2004.pdf
Assignment 3a: Teale Seminar: Sir Peter Crane, 4PM, Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center
Pdficon small.gif Assignment3.2012.pdf
Pdficon small.gif AlternateAssignment3.2012.pdf (only for those who previously indicated a conflict with the two seminars)
T 2/28/12 Evolution of nuclear genomes [8] Lewis
Th 3/1/12 The Developmental tool kit of land plants
You can download the lecture notes here [9]
Assignment 3a due (at start of class)
See Pdficon small.gif Bowmanetal.pdf for a short review of comparative genomics of land plants
T 3/6/12 Midterm exam (through 2/28 lecture)
Th 3/8/12 Hormones Pdficon small.gif Mar8.pdf Lewis
T 3/13/12 Spring Break
Th 3/15/12 Spring Break
T 3/20/12 Pdficon small.gif Partners in the conquest of land Pdficon small.gif Selosse&LeTacon Lewis
Th 3/22/12 Pdficon small.gif Divergence dating, integration of fossils, recent diversifications in early land plants Lewis
T 3/27/12 Evolution and biogeography of early seed plants
You can download the lecture note here [10]
W&E Ch. 5 Goffinet
Th 3/29/12 Evolution of gymnosperms. You can download the lecture notes here [11] W&E Ch. 5 Goffinet
T 4/3/12 Mass extinctions
You can download the lecture notes here [12]
W&E Ch. 8 Goffinet
Th 4/5/12 Evolutionary theories and the plant fossil record. No lecture notes: it's all in chapter 10. W&E Ch. 10
Assignment 3b: Seminar: Ricardo Rozzi (UNT & U Mag): Field environmental philosophy to confront biocultural homogenization in a rapidly changing world. April 5th, BP 130, 4PM
Pdficon small.gif Assignment4 Pdficon small.gif Brenneretal2003
T 4/10/12 Pdficon small.gif April.10.2012 Origin of flowering plants W&E Ch. 6 Lewis
Th 4/12/12 Origin of flowering plants [13] Pdficon small.gif Pennisi2009
Assignment 3b due (at start of class)
T 4/17/12 Angiosperms, continued. Diversification of grasses [14] W&E Ch. 7 Lewis
Th 4/19/12 Diversification of grasses, photosynthesis [15] Assignment 4 due in class Lewis
T 4/24/12 More on photosynthesis, [16] Lewis
Th 4/26/12 Presentations by EEB 5220 Students [17] [18], Final exam hints CHECK Announcements above for link to the study guide part 1 and new version of final assignment


"Whitish smoke in the movie are small droplets containing smreps (deliberate misspelling of word for male gametes). The smreps in the droplets are still un-motile. When touch the water, they begin to swim. In our experiments, misting with water is trigger of the explosion. If antheridia were mature, the explosion begin within few minutes. The event continued about for 10 min. Intense light for video recording also seems to accelerate the phenomenon. Each antheridia is deeply sunk in a cavity of antheridiophore and there is a very small pore on the top of each cavity. Swollen cells of surrounding tissue might cause the pressure force. Cavers (1903) and Muggoch & Walton (1942) also discussed about the mechanism, but, I think no one examined about the detail mechanism of the phenomenon. In Hiroshima, the season of mreps dispersal is Spring (April to May). In our field observation, we detected many airborne smreps in the sunny day after rain shower. I do not have detail data about how many species of liverworts have airborne mreps. At least, Asian species of Conocephalum (C. japonicum) do in the same manner." M. Shimamura

Shimamura, M., Yamaguchi, T. & Deguchi, H. 2008. Airborne sperm of Conocephalum conicum (Conocephalaceae). J. Plant Res. 121: 69-71. http://www.springerlink.com/content/fl2105h6428366m3/