J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1998, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (11): -.

• Research Articles •    

Review of the Fossil Evidence for the Origin and Earliest Evolution of the Seed-plants

Jason Hilton   

Abstract: The earliest identified seed-plants are found in Latest Devonian aged sediments from Northwest Europe and North America and are believed to have evolved from within the progymnosperms, a group of anatomically advanced pteridophytic plants. However, current evidence makes it problematic to determine from which particular progynmospermous lineage the seed-plants evolved, with the major contender being the Aneurophytalean progymnosperms. The evidence for the ancestral stock to the seed-plants is summarised and the morphologies of the earliest known seed-plants are considered. From their first geological occurrence, the seed-plants are morphologically diverse to such an extent that the identification of a single potential ancestral morphology is impossible. In the light of the evidence so far presented, the precise origin of the seed-plants is unresolved and in need of new evidence relating to the progynmosperm/seed-plant transition. Future lines of research are also suggested.

Key words: Spermatophyte, Lignophyte, Progymnosperm, Evolution, Phylogeny

Editorial Office, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Institute of Botany, CAS
No. 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China
Tel: +86 10 6283 6133 Fax: +86 10 8259 2636 E-mail: jipb@ibcas.ac.cn
Copyright © 2022 by the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Online ISSN: 1744-7909 Print ISSN: 1672-9072 CN: 11-5067/Q