A brief overview of a model plant system
C-Fern® is a specially derived cultivar of the tropical homosporous fern, Ceratopteris richardii, commonly referred to as "water fern", which
- excels for teaching a wide range of biological principles
- adapts to a wide range of student sophistications and grade levels
- adjusts to most classroom situations and environmental 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.