Zooidogamy in the late permian genus Glossopteris

Harufumi Nishida, Kathleen Pigg, Kensuke Kudo, John F. Rigby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We describe details of anatomically preserved fossil glossopterid ovules from the Late Permian of Queensland, Australia, that contain several pollen tubes at various stages of releasing flagellated sperm. Each sperm is approximately 12.7 μm long and 13.9 μm wide, with a conspicuous spiral structure comprised of a series of dots that resemble the position of basal bodies of flagella aligned along the multilayered structure (MLS). This configuration is similar to the helically arranged flagella in the sperm of cycads, Ginkgo, and many pteridophytes. However, the motile gametes of Glossopteris are considerably smaller than those of Ginkgo and cycads, and more similar in size, number of basal bodies, and number of gyres in their helix to pteridophyte forms. Glossopteris thus shares the intermediate stage of motile male gamete formation and apparently that of haustorial pollen tubes with cycads and Ginkgo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Glossopteris
  • Gondwana
  • Gymnosperm
  • Seed plant
  • Sperm
  • Zooidogamy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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