Noun 1. Marchantia polymorpha – a common liverwort hepatica hepatic, liverwort – any of numerous small green nonvascular plants of the class Hepaticopsida. Do not confuse the ordinary English word hepatic (meaning liverwort) with the genus name Hepatica. The liverwort of the early herbalists was Marchantia polymorpha and one characteristic of all species of Marchantia is. hepatica, Marchantia polymorpha: a common liverwort Marchantia, genus Marchantia: type genus of Marchantiaceae; liverworts that Marchantia is kind of .

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While written accounts of plants date back thousands of years, due to the degradation of scientific literature during the dark ages descriptions descended from Greek writings are sometimes equivocal as to species identity. Such is the case with Marchantia in the pre-Renaissance literature; however, indisputable illustrations of Marchantia polymorpha were made as early as the midth century, beginning a rich historical literature on its taxonomy, development and physiology.

In this review, I present three vignettes, each of which are themselves abbreviated due to space constraints. The first presents the role of Marchantia and related liverwort species in the discovery of sex in cryptogams, from the elucidation of liverwort life cycles the 18th century to the sequence of the Y chromosome polymprpha the 21st. A second vignette describes the use of M. The final vignette chronicles the use of M. While marcuantia covering a fraction of the literature available, these vignettes provide a glimpse of historical and hhepatica discoveries available upon which to build a molecular genetic and genomic understanding of Marchantia.

In the botanical realm this included lists of plants and their uses. One of the polymorppha known lists was assembled by Diokles of Karystos in about BC and is thought to have consisted of a compendium of plants followed by a description of their habitats and medicinal uses Singer While all original accounts of these early writings have been lost, later authors, from the ancient Greeks hhepatica the Renaissance, continued this format referred to as a Herbal Arber The historical representations of liverworts begin with nebulous descriptions and illustrations from antiquity through the dark ages, only becoming realistic enough to be assigned unambiguously to specific species in the Renaissance.

While the majority of this review is focused on the genus Marchantiaother liverwort taxa are mentioned and their phylogenetic relationships with Marchantia are depicted in Fig. Relationships of the various liverwort Marchantiophyta taxa mentioned in the text. Adapted from phylogenies reconstructed using molecular data Forrest et al. His botanical works—the Historia Plantarum Enquiry into Plants and Causae Plantarum Causes of Plants —contain both notes on plant growth and physiology and descriptions of many plant species, native and foreign, with many of the latter being brought back to Greece during the conquests yepatica Alexander the Great — BC ScarboroughMorton This influx of foreign plants, animals and ideas undoubtedly broadened the scope and thinking of biology in Greece at this time.

Thus, in early texts and floras based on the work of Theophrastus and other Greek and Roman authors who followed, liverworts and hornworts are referred to as Lichens. Undoubtedly Dioscorides based polymprpha work on those of his predecessors, including Theophrastus, Krateus and Nicander of Colophon, and it remains the primary historical source of medicines used by the ancient Greeks and through De Materia Medica and its successors, botany and hepaticw would be closely entwined until the beginning of the 19th century.

Polymorpya Materia Medica was not originally illustrated, and was copied through the centuries, first in Greek then translated into Latin and Arabic during the dark ages. During this time, illustrations were added and poljmorpha accumulated through the centuries via errors introduced by transcribers who had little, if any, knowledge of the plants described. The oldest surviving version of De Materia Medica is contained within the Juliana Anicia Codex also known as the Codex Vindobonensis or the Vienna Dioscorideswhich was completed in Constantinople around Dioscorides While the illustrations heaptica the Juliana Anicia Codex vary in marfhantia, the best are naturalistic, probably copied from earlier Greek texts that no longer exist, since by this time in the dark ages naturalistic drawing was a lost art.

Lichen is described and illustrated in Chapter 53 of Book IV fol. Many hpeatica authors assumed that the description was of a liverwort, specifically Marchantia as it is the most common liverwort in human disturbed habitats in Europe. While the text of Dioscorides could be describing a liverwort, the accompanying illustration, where a nondescript patch of green plants is growing on top of a pile of stones, could be depicting either a true lichen or a liverwort, but more closely resembling the former.

While the texts of different translations of De Materia Medica did not change much for the next millenium, the words being slavishly copied over the centuries, the illustrations, initially based on drawing from nature, degraded into unrecognizable sketches impossible to reconcile with actual plants they were supposed to represent SachsMorton His Naturalis Hepaticx is a 37 volume encyclopedia of the knowledge of his time, completed in 77 AD, 2 years before his death in an ill-fated attempt to rescue friends in Herculaneum from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius.


,archantia kind hepaticq Lichen or Liverwort there is, cleaving wholly fast upon rocks and stones in a manner of mosse, which also is singular for those tettars, beeing reduced into a liniment.

This hearbe likewise stauncheth the flux of bloud in greene wounds, if the juice be ehpatica into them: Based on his use of the term, it can be assumed that Holland accepted that the plant described by Dioscorides and Pliny marchatia a liverwort. The unprecedented wealth of merchants and bankers from the commercial cities of Venice, Florence, Genoa and Milan led to considerable political power and independence, which was used to support cultural change and scientific inquiry.

The wealth was in part derived from these city states controlling trade routes, which also brought knowledge of an unparalleled number of new plant species.

By botanical gardens were established in Pisa, Padua and Florence, a trend that spread across Italy and then more broadly in Europe. pllymorpha

It is not surprising that the early botanical Renaissance occurred around Padua given the relationship of botany to medicine and the blossoming of medical schools at this time in northern Italy.

The earliest known illustration that is undoubtedly Marchantia polymorpha can be found in a copy of Libre de Simplicibusknown as Marciana Codex lat. In Marciana Codex lat. VI 59naturalistic illustrations of plants are presented along with their names in Greek, Arabic, Latin and other languages. While the text was compiled inthe illustrations may not have been completed until the midth century, as the manuscript is dated — The advent of the printing press facilitated a demand for widely available books, and in the first half of the 16th century after the Renaissance had spread northward, three German botanists, Otto Brunfels, Leonhart Fuchs and Jerome Hieronymus Bock, produced Herbals.

Fuchs had previously chastised earlier authors for changing the name from Lichen to Hepatica when he can find no evidence in the writings of the Greeks of Lichen as a treatment for liver ailments, but rather all the Greek descriptions are of using extracts of Lichen as a topical ointment. Fuchs in Brunfelstransl. Unusual for the time, Fuchs gave credit to the artists, depicting them in portraits at the end of the work: Since thalloid liverworts vaguely resembled the human liver, the term Hepatica was borrowed from the Greek and Latin word for liver [Hepaticus], and this was extended into other languages, e.

Unfortunately, these names, derived from a fanciful superstition of the dark ages, are now indelibly associated with liverworts. This herbe as Dioscorides and Plinie writeth used when it is yet greene, and layd upon wounds, stoppeth the superfluous bleeding of the same and preserueth them both from inflammation and apostemation.

The same also heale all foule scurffes and spreading scabbes as the pockes, and wilde-fire, and taketh away the markes and scarres made with hoate irons, if it be pounde with hony and layde thereupon. The same boyled in wine, and holden in the mouth, stoppeth the Catarrhes, that is, a distilling or falling downe of Reume, or water and flegme from the brayne to the throte. It is likely the Mapundungun are referring to one of the native Marchantia species of southern Chile, e.

Likewise, Marchantia was also reported as an aphrodisiac by the Iroquois of the present-day northeastern USA and eastern Canada Herricksuggesting it may have been a common belief throughout the pre-Columbian Americas. Marchant, my father, who had the honor of being the first botanist occupying a place in the Academy, when the king created the company in We advise those who want to have the pleasure of seeing the flower [archegoniophore] of Marchantia stellata to look for it after stormy weather or warm rain.

Bowman and Pauline Jullien. He mentions that others have described similar plants as being the male of the same species Bauhin et al. This debate continued until archegonia and antheridia were interpreted as female and male organs, respectively SchmidelHedwig Gemmae gups are clearly present on the thalli in Marchant’s illustration, but dichotomous branching is not clearly depicted, and thus the gemmae cups appear randomly distributed.

However, several notable observations were made by Marchant, including the most detailed description to date of the female reproductive tissues, e. Each frond stem [archegoniophore] of this plant I natural size, and II magnified, ends in a star or rosette one half inch in diameter and composed of nine rays.

The underside of each of the beams III is lined with a plurality of membranes [perichaetum, perianth, calyptra] a. Inside these membranes [perianth, calyptra] b, c resides a flower [sporangium] d that contains silky yellow-gold threads [elaters] e and infinitely small nearly round yellow particles [spores] f.

Marchant ; transl. During the Enlightenment, a cultural movement among intellectuals in the 17th—18th centuries that included the Scientific Revolution, many older ideas of the world were overturned, including the place of the earth within the solar system and the place of man in biology.


The discovery of sex in plants provided a fresh perspective of plant biology and spawned intense investigation to uncover mechanisms.

The lack of obvious homologies or analogies between the reproductive organs across all plants led to a classification, which lasted until well into the 20th century, based on the presence or absence of seed: In the former category were the seed plants, gymnosperms and angiosperms. In the latter category was a large phylogenetically diverse group of organisms including ferns, lycophytes, bryophytes, green algae, red algae, brown algae and fungi. Thus, cryptogams included what we now consider all those descendents from the primary endosymbiosis resulting in the chloroplast except seed plantssome secondary endosymbionts e.

Considering this diversity of organisms, it is easy to imagine why it was difficult to generalize about cryptogams. Like much of the wisdom of the Greeks, this thinking disappeared during the dark ages, with most during this time denying sex in plants.

While the precise anatomical details of fertilization in angiosperms would not be known until improved microscopical techniques were developed in the 19th century, the basic tenets of sexuality and the functions of the floral organs were known in the 18th century.

In contrast, the sexuality of cryptogams remained in a state of confusion, in large part due to attempts to construct analogies between the sexual organs of angiosperms with those of cryptogams.

However, writing prior toValerius Cordus Cordus et al. But it reproduces itself by means of the dust that is developed on the back of the leaves, as do all kinds of ferns; and let this statement of the fact once for all suffice.

He made similar statements regarding reproduction in Aspidium and Phyllitis Cordus et al. Thus, Cordus clearly distinguished the spores of ferns from seeds and also distinguished spores from pollen at a time when individual spores and pollen were not easily visible to the naked eye.

The confusion derived from the lack of understanding of plant cycles, with many denying any sexual reproduction in cryptogams. Only when Casimir Christoph Schmidel and Johannes Hedwig correctly interpreted archegonia and antheridia as the female and male organs, respectively, was some clarity brought to the details of sexuality in bryophytes SchmidelHedwig Hedwig followed the entire life cycles of mosses and liverworts, using M.

Both Schmidel and Hedwig also recognized vegetative reproduction via gemmae, contained within cups, or scyphules: This clarified that while spores and seeds are both dispersal agents, they are produced in different generations, and that the similarity between spore and pollen development is due to their both being the formation of a gametophyte generation.

Motile cells of plants were discovered in the s, and initially there was significant confusion as to their nature. They were sometimes called swarm cells as they tend to be produced in large numbers at once.


Some regarded them as infusoria, animalcules or animals—a marchangia of a plant hepahica transformed into an animal, since plants were not supposed to move. Schmidel was the first to observe the discharge of spermatozoids in a liverwort, in Fossombronia Schmidel InFranz Unger, who had previously reported motile sperm in Sphagnumdescribed the same in M.

Again, I found what I expected. That trapped in the same pollen-sacs [antheridia] behaved exactly as that of Polytrichum and other mosses; the fovilla [sperm] existed here properly in a cell mass, … but not only containing only cubic cells or more irregular graining, but all such of animal nature, as in the mosses.

Marchantia polymorpha L.

Unger correctly represented the relationship of the two oscillating cilia at the fore end of the spermatozoon to the body at the posterior end.

The top part of marchantla Pollinarium antheridium of Polytrichum commune. You can hfpatica the cubic cells, whose side length is 0. B Those freed from the cell or membrane, have a diameter of 0. On glass dried spermatozoa of Marchantia polymorphain different positions.

Unger, Meyen and later Thuret Thuret correctly portrayed the sperm with two anterior cilia. The ancestral condition of the Marchantiophyta and of the Marchantiopsida see Fig. Study of the genetic determination of sex in liverworts began soon after the rediscovery of Mendel at the beginning of the 20th century.

Liverwort And Moss Plant Stock Photos & Liverwort And Moss Plant Stock Images – Alamy

Noll cultivated both male and female strains of M. By examining progeny, he concluded that the segregation of sex must take place during the maturation of the sporangium. Working with a related Marchantiopsida species, Sphaerocarpus donnelliiwhere the four products of meiosis remain attached to one another, Charles Douin definitively demonstrated that each tetrad of spores produced two male and two female gametophytes Douin In Allen reported that female S.

Occasionally, spore dyads occur in Sphaerocarpusthe number varying depending upon the species LorbeerKnapp