Passing over the locomotor activity of zoospores (Pythium, Peronospora, Saprolegnia) we often find spores held under tension in sporangia (Pilobolus) or in asci (Peziza) until ripe, and then forcibly shot out by the sudden rupture of the sporangial wall under the pressure of liquid behind - mechanism comparable to that of a pop-gun, if we suppose air replaced by watery sap. Even a single conidium, held tense to the last moment by the elastic cell-wall, may be thus shot forward by a spurt of liquid under pressure in the hypha abstricting it (e.g.
On this basis, with other interesting morphological comparisons, Brefeld erected his hypothesis, now untenable, that the Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes diverge from the Zygomycetes, the former having particularly specialized the ascus (sporangial) mode of reproduction, the latter having specialized the conidial (indehiscent one-spored sporangiole) mode.
At the time of sporangial formation the protoplasm with numerous nuclei streams into the swollen end of the sporangiophore and there becomes cut off by a cell-wall to form the sporangium.
The escape of zoospores is effected by the degeneration of the sporangial wall (Chaetophora), or by a pore (Cladophora), a slit (Pediastrum), or a circular fracture (Oedogonium).
The sporangial wall, consisting of several layers of cells, encloses a cavity containing numerous oval spores (pollen-grains).
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