In my practical class of Plant Biodiversity, we were given Funaria plants with sporophyte for study. The sporophyte of Funaria was found to be differentiated into foot, seta and capsule.
- Foot was embedded in the plant body.
- Seta is a long, cord-like hygroscopic structure that holds the capsule high. Capsule is erect when young but becomes pendant at maturity.
- Capsule is a pear-shaped structure, the upper portion of which is covered by a cap-like region the operculum, which helps in the dehiscence of capsule and dispersal of spores.
On removing the cap-like operculum from the capsule, teeth-like projections were seen at the top of the capsule. These are peristomial teeth.
These were seen under a foldscope and were seen to be long, conical and present in two rows and in each row there are 16 teeth. Peristome teeth act as a valve that allows the spores to exit the capsule, thus helping in spore dispersal in dry conditions.