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    Evolution of Angiosperms

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    Angiosperms (flowering plants) are the largest Phylum in the Plant Kingdom (Angiospermophyta is also called Anthophyta or Magnoliophyta). These plants have true roots, stems, leaves and flowers. The roots grow into the soil to anchor the plant in place and take up water and nutrients. The leaves are above ground and act as the main organs for photosynthesis. Stems provide above ground support for the plant and operate as conduits to move nutrients and water throughout the plant. Flowers contain the male and female reproductive organs of the plant.

    With these anatomical features in mind, do some research to find an angiosperm that has modified leaves, stems, roots or flowers that do not function in the normal manner, or that function in an unusual manner. Example: A California Barrel Cactus has spines in place of leaves to reduce water loss.

    Explain how this structural modification helped the plant adapt to its environment. Make sure the plant you choose is an Angiosperm. For example, plants such as pine trees, mosses, and ferns are not Angiosperms.

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    Solution Preview

    Apoximis in Angiosperms
    The term angiosperm is a combination of two Greek words: angeion meaning 'vessel' and sperma meaning 'seed'. This family of the plants evolved rather recently (in evolutionary sense): only 130 million years ago (1). The members of this family are usually characterized as having roots, which help to maintain stability and for nutrient gathering, stems, which distributes the nutrients throughout the plant, and flowers, that provide a medium for sexual reproduction (i.e. there are male and female sexes present). This last feature, however, is not a universal character of angiosperms: there are many members of this family that reproduce asexually in a process known as 'apoximis'. In other words apoximis is formation of new offspring through mitotic division of the genome, without meiosis or sexual fusion. Apoximis for angiosperms is divided into four sub-types: Nonrecurrent apoximis, recurrent apoximis, sporophytic apoximis and vegetative apoximis. Vegetative apoximis is of particular interest and is ...

    Solution Summary

    Evolution of angiosperms based on the laws of natural selection.