Portland, Oregon 2021-11-16 20:45:37 –
KOIN, Oregon — Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered seeds that germinate from pine cones wrapped in amber.
According to the university, this phenomenon is caused by a rare plant condition called precocious germination, in which seeds germinate before leaving the fruit.
With George Poiner Jr. Oregon State University I published a paper in Historical Biology explaining amber-wrapped pine cones (about 40 million years ago) in the Baltic Sea, where several embryonic stems appear.
“Important for the development of all plants, seed germination usually occurs on the ground after the seeds have fallen,” Poiner said. “We tend to associate embryos (embryo development while in a parent) with animals, forgetting that it sometimes happens in plants.”
He added that their development is most commonly associated with angiosperms. They provide most of the food that people eat indirectly or indirectly, have flowers, and produce seeds surrounded by fruits.
“Fruit seed germination is fairly common in plants without seed dormancy, such as tomatoes, peppers and grapefruits, and occurs for a variety of reasons,” Poiner said. “But it’s rare in gymnosperms.”
According to the university, gymnosperms such as conifers produce “naked” or unenclosed seeds.
Precocious germination of pine cones is extremely rare, Poiner said, with only one naturally occurring example of this condition since 1965 described in the scientific literature.
“That’s part of what makes this discovery so interesting, and beyond that, it’s the first fossil record of a plant embryo with seed germination,” he said. “I find it fascinating that this little pine cone seed starts to germinate in the corn and can grow before the buds die from the resin.”
Poiner said the tip of the sprout contained a cluster of needles, some in five bundles. It associates fossils with the extinct pine species previously described from Baltic amber.
He added that amber pine cones in the Baltic Sea are not commonly found.
“What’s actually coming out is highly appreciated by collectors, and because the scales of the corn are hard, they’re usually very well preserved and look like the real thing,” the university said.
Plant embryos usually manifest in one of two ways, but precocious germination is the more common of the two, Poinar explains. For example, if the bulbs emerge directly from the flower head of the parent plant.
“In the case of this fossil seed embryo, the seed produced a very obvious embryonic stem in amber,” he said. “It is unclear whether these stems, known as hypocotyls, appeared before the cone was wrapped in amber. However, in their position, after the pine cones fell into the resin, most, if not,. It seems that some growth has occurred. “
Studies on the embryos of extant gymnosperms suggest that this condition may be associated with winter frost, OSU cites. Poiner said the amber forests of the Baltic Sea could be lightly frosted if they were humid and temperate, as expected.
“This is the first fossil record of plant seed embryos, but this condition probably occurred much earlier than this Eocene record,” he added. “There is no reason why vegetative embryos could not occur hundreds of millions of years ago in plants with ancient spores such as ferns and lycopods.”
OSU study: Seeds sprouting from 40-million-year-old pinecone Source link OSU study: Seeds sprouting from 40-million-year-old pinecone