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Kossoviella timanica Petrosjan emend. from the Upper Devonian of North Timan: morphology and spore ultrastructure

  • Olga A. Orlova (a1) (a2), Natalia Zavialova (a2), Sergey Snigirevsky (a3), Aleftina Jurina (a1) and Anna Lidskaya (a1)...


The morphology of sterile and fertile structures (terminal strobili) of the Upper Devonian heterosporous lycopsid Kossoviella timanica Petrosjan 1984 from northern Russia (North Timan) is re-described: the axes are dichotomously branched; sterile leaves are narrow with smooth margins; the transition from sterile axes to strobili is gradual; the strobili are narrow and cylindrical, occasionally dichotomously branched; sporophylls are long, lanceolate, with crenulated margins; megasporangia with thin, mostly destroyed, sporangium walls contain one or two tetrads of large megaspores without a gula; numerous microspore tetrads are present in the microsporangia; both mega- and microspores are cavate, with a two-layered sporoderm; the outer layer of the sporoderm of both mega- and microspores consists of a net of intertwined cylindrical elements; the inner layer of the megaspore sporoderm is a basal lamina; and the inner homogeneous layer of the microspore sporoderm is split into multilamellate zones near the arms of the proximal scar. A comparison between abortive and fertile megaspores, some of which apparently were not completely mature, allows us to hypothesise that the enlargement and lateral stretching of structural units of the sporoderm, and the spaces between them, took place during the final stages of ontogenesis of megaspores along with the additional accumulation of amorphous sporopollenin. Both layers of the megaspore sporoderm, as well as the cavity between them, developed early in the ontogenesis. Although Kossoviella timanica was certainly a unique Late Devonian plant, it bears some resemblance to the Givetian heterosporous, bisporangiate lycopsid Yuguangia ordinata in having dichotomously branching axes, sporophylls with spiny margins and strobili with proximal megasporangia and distal microsporangia. Kossoviella timanica is also similar to the Famennian bisporangiate lycopsid Bisporangiostrobus harrisii in lacking a ligula and in having dichotomously branching strobili with proximal megasporangia and distal microsporangia.


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