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 2014

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

Most course materials will be available on HuskyCT (beginning sometime Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014).

Instructor Contact Information

Louise A. Lewis 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.


See the HuskyCT site for these.

Textbook and readings

There is no formal textbook for this course. We will be using newly published books (available as e-books from the Uconn library) as well journal articles. The assigned reading material is considered required reading.



Note: this is a tentative schedule. See the HuskyCT site for the latest.

Date Topic Reading / Assignment Prof.
T 1/21/14 Course overview & Plants: their importance in past and present ecosystems Lewis
Th 1/23/14 Macroevolutionary tree of green plants, and ancestors to land plants Lewis
T 1/28/14 Fossilization Goffinet
Th 1/30/14 Partners in the colonization of land, I Goffinet
T 2/4/14 Partners in the colonization of land, II Lewis
Th 2/6/14 Challenges to the transition to land Lewis
T 2/11/14 Interpreting phylogenetic trees Lewis
Th 2/13/14 Early land plants: advances and challenges to diversification on land, I Goffinet
T 2/18/14 Early land plants: advances and challenges to diversification on land, II Goffinet
Th 2/20/14 Photosynthesis in earliest land plants Lewis
T 2/25/14 Evolution of the vascular body, I Goffinet
Th 2/27/14 Evolution of the vascular body, II Goffinet
T 3/4/14 Evolution of photosynthetic organs Goffinet
Th 3/6/14 Evolution of stomata and cuticle Lewis
T 3/11/14 Physiological desiccation tolerance Lewis
Th 3/13/14 Midterm exam (through lectures 1-13
T 3/18/14 Spring Break
Th 3/20/14 Spring Break
T 3/25/14 Endospory and heterospory Lewis
Th 3/27/14 Origin of seed plants Lewis
T 4/1/14 Origin of flowers Goffinet
Th 4/3/14 A fundamental developmental toolkit of plants Goffinet
T 4/8/14 Genome evolution in land plants: introduction Goffinet
Th 4/10/14 Diversification of angiosperms Lewis
T 4/15/14 Diversification of grasses and photosynthetic innovations Lewis
Th 4/17/14 Genome evolution in land plants Attend EEB seminar @ 4PM by Wickett Goffinet
T 4/22/14 Organellar genome evolution Goffinet
Th 4/24/14 The rise and fall of land plant lineages: patterns in the diversification of land plants Goffinet
T 4/29/14 Grad presentations
Th 5/1/14 Grad presentations


"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/