In the development of distinct antheridial and oogonial cells the allied Ancylistineae show close alliances to Pythium and the Oomycetes.
De Bary brought forward very strong evidence for the origin of the ascocarp in Sphaerotheca and Erysiphe by a sexual process, but Harper in 1895 was the first to prove conclusively, by the observation of the nuclear fusion, that there was a definite fertilization in Sphaerotheca Humuli by the fusion of a male (antheridial) nucleus with a female, ascogonial (oogonial) nucleus.
Again, in oogamous reproduction, while in general only one oosphere is differentiated in the oogonium, in Sphaeroplea several oospheres arise in each oogonium; and while the oospheres usually contract away from the oogonial wall, acquiring for themselves a new cell-wall after fertilization, in Coleochaete the oosphere remains throughout in contact with the oogonial wall.
In Coleochaete the oogonial wall is drawn out into a considerable tube, which is provided with an apical pore, and this tube has a somewhat similar appearance to the imperforate trichogyne of Florideae to be hereafter described.
On the maturation of the oospheres the outer layer of the oogonial wall ruptures, and the oospheres, still surrounded by a middle and inner layer, pass out through the mouth of the conceptacle.
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