Life cycle of Adiantum capillus-veneris. Spores are produced in sporangia under the leaves. The protonemal cell grows as a linear tube just after spore germination. If kept under continuous red light or very weak white light it grows as a long protonemal cell without cell division. When illuminated with white light it develops to a heart-shaped prothallium. Protonemata and prothalli are good materials for studying photomorphogenesis. Archegonia and antheridia are produced on the prothalli and sporophytes grow after fertilization of eggs by sperms
Ferns alternate these generations in a more balanced manner,
because half their lives are spent in the gametophyte stage, or
haplophase, and the other half in the sporophyte stage (Fig.
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