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Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Ganger, Michael [1], Wilczynski, Sam [2], Bronder, Melissa [2].

Hermaphrodite density, male age, and male size affect male to hermaphrodite sex change in gametophytes of the fern Ceratopteris richardii.

In gametophtyes of the fern Ceratopteris richardii, sex is strongly affected by the hermaphrodite-secreted hormone, antheridiogen (ACE in C. richardii). In the presence of ACE undifferentiated gametophytes tend to develop as male while in its absence gametophytes tend to develop as hermaphrodite. Males require the continued presence of ACE to remain male. Males removed from ACE will change sex (convert) to hermaphrodite. The process of sex determination in these ferns is well studied, however the process of sex change (conversion) is less so.
Here we explored the effect of hermaphrodite density, male age, and male size on the amount of time it took males to convert to hermaphrodite. Males were grown for 14, 20, and 26 days in three different densities of hermaphrodites. Males were measured and transferred out of the presence of ACE and monitored twice daily for conversion. Size of male served as a covariate in a two-factor analysis of covariance.
Results suggest that males continuously sample the neighborhood for information regarding the density of hermaphrodites (by perceiving hermaphrodite-secreted ACE) and use this information to determine whether to convert to hermaphrodite. Larger males converted faster than smaller males suggesting a potential for smaller males to remain male once larger males have converted and begun to produce their own ACE. Conversion time was longer in males grown in higher densities of hermaphrodites and shorter in males exposed to ACE for a longer time suggesting that males increase sensitivity to ACE with higher doses but decrease sensitivity as they age. Such decision making is likely important for the maintenance of beneficial sex ratios in C. richardii populations.

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1 - Gannon University, BIOLOGY #3032, 109 University Square, Erie, PA, 16541, United States
2 - Gannon University, Erie, PA, 16541-0001

protandrous suppression
sex change
sex determination

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P3, Reproductive Processes Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P3RP007
Abstract ID:199
Candidate for Awards:None

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