Spermatids of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha were shown by analysis of thin-sections to contain a four-layered organelle, the Vierergruppe, lying between the flagellar bases above and a subjacent mitochondrial body. The uppermost layer consists of parallel tubules structurally similar to those of the axoneme. Some of the tubules extend beyond the four-layered region to form a long ribbon-like appendage. The second layer consists of low, vertical, membranous fins connected by numerous short links to the tubules above. The third layer, limited above and below by two horizontal membranes, consists of vertical partitions, apparently continuous with the fins. The fourth and lowermost layer consists of narrow parallel tubules aligned beneath alternate partitions. The long axes of the lower three layers are parallel to each other and lie at an angle of 48° to the tubule axis of the uppermost stratum. A graphic representation of a three-dimensional scale model interpreting organelle structure is given. The Vierergruppe supersedes Dreiergruppe interpretation in most if not all of the bryophytes studied to date.

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