Cycas megasporophyll hair

  • Jasveen Dua

Foldscope has changed the perception of students. It has infused lots of weird ideas in the students. They are passionate to see every odd thing with it.

Cycas is a gymnosperm with separate male and female plants. It is grown as an ornamental plant.  A few female plants are also growing in our college campus. It does not bear compact female cones, instead a whorl of loose megasporophylls that are the female reproductive structures arise in a rosette-like manner at the tip of stem. The megasporophylls bear ovules.

The unique thing about Cycas revoluta is that the megasporophylls are tomentose  i.e are covered with brown-coloured hairs. Outer surface of the ovule is also covered with orange-yellow hairs which are lost after fertilization.

Students pulled out some hair with the tweezers and observed it using a foldscope. These  hair seemed amazing when seen under the foldscope during one of the workshop sessions.

[caption id=”attachment_38739″ align=”alignnone” width=”169″] wooly hair of Cycas megasporophyll[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_38737″ align=”alignnone” width=”300″] workshop session in progress[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_38740″ align=”alignnone” width=”169″] Hair viewed using a foldscope[/caption]

 

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