J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2010, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (3): 254-264.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00893.x

• Cell and Developmental Biology •     Next Articles

Cytological Events during Zygote Formation of the Fern Ceratopteris thalictroides

Jian-Guo Cao*, Quan-Xi Wang*, Nai-Ying Yang and Wen-Mei Bao   

  1. College of Life and Environment Science, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
  • Received:2008-12-26 Accepted:2009-10-07 Published:2010-03-01
  • About author:*Author for correspondence Tel: +86 21 6432 2526; Fax: +86 21 6432 2931; E-mail: cao101@shnu.edu.cn


The cytological events, including nuclear fusion, digestion of male organelles and rebuilding of the plasmalemma and cell wall, during zygote formation of the fern Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn. are described based on the observations of transmission electron microscopy. When the spermatozoid enters the egg and contacts the cytoplasm, the male chromatin relaxes continually. The microtubular ribbon (MTr) is separated from the male nucleus and then an envelope reappears around the male nucleus. During nuclear fusion, the egg nucleus becomes highly irregular and extends some nuclear protrusions. It is proposed that the protrusions fuse with the male nucleus actively. After nuclear fusion the irregular zygotic nucleus contracts gradually. It becomes spherical before the zygote divides. The male chromatin is identifiable as fibrous structure in the zygotic nucleus in the beginning, but it gradually becomes diffused completely. The male organelles, including the MTr, multilayered structure, flagella and the male mitochondria are finally digested in the zygotic cytoplasm. Finally a new plasmalemma and cell wall are formed outside the protoplast. The organelles in the zygote are rearranged, which produces a horizontal polarity zygote. The zygote divides with an oblique-vertical cell plate facing the apical notch of the gametophyte.

Cao JG, Wang QX, Yang NY, Bao WM (2010) Cytological events during zygote formation of the fern Ceratopteris thalictroides. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(3), 254–264

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