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Have questions?
Contact the C-Fern Project
 Supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation - Division of Undergraduate Education
Development of C-Fern is supported
by the National Science Foundation (NSF-DUE)
Copyright © 1997-2000
Thomas R. Warne and
Leslie G. Hickok.
All rights reserved.

C-Fern: A Brief Description of the Model System

L a b  C o r e
Description of the Model System
Equipment Requirements
Sources for Spores & Culturing Supplies
Research in the Classroom
Research Questions
C-Fern Technical Assistance
L a b  L i n k
Background Web Links
Adopter Links
Research Links
On-Line Poster Presentations
Discussion Board
C-FernTM, a specially derived cultivar of the tropical homosporous fern, Ceratopteris richardii, is adaptable to teaching a wide range of biological principles, student sophistications, and classroom conditions. An outstanding feature of C-Fern is the rapid development of gametophytes over a two week period, which culminates in sexual reproduction by motile sperm. Swimming sperm - commonly associated with animal systems -- and the events associated with sexual reproduction serve to engage many students who otherwise are bored by plants. Low maintenance and rapid gametophyte development permits C-Fern to be used under time constraints commonly encountered in the classroom. For both teaching and research purposes, focusing on early stages of gametophyte development means many experiments can be completed in a very short time.