J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1993, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

Confocal Microscopy Observations on Actin Cytoskeleton in the Pollen and Pollen Protoplast of Narcissus

Xu Shi-xiong(S. Y. Zee),Li Chun-gui and Zhu cheng   

Abstract: Actin cytoskeleton was localized in the pollen and pollen protoplast of Narcissus cyclamineus using fluorescence labelled phalloidin andconfocal microscopy. In the hydrated pollen (before germination) actin filamem bundles were arranged in a parallel array and at right angles to the long axis of the pollen grain in the cortex. But at the germination pore region(or fur row) the actin filament bundles formed a reticulate network. In the centre of the grain there was also an actin filament network which was more open and had less bundles associated with it than the network underneath the furrow. When the pollen grain started to produce pollen tube, most(if not all) of the actin filament bundles in the pollen grain rearranged into a parallel array pointing towards the tube. The bundles in the array later elongated and extended into the pollen tube. In the pollen protoplast a very tightly-packed actin bundle network was present. Numerous branches and jonts of actin filament bundles could be seen in the network. If the protoplasts were fixed before staining, the bundles aggregated and the branches and joints became less obvious indicating that fixation had affected the nature and arrangement of the actin filament bundles. If the pollen protoplasts were bursted (using the osmotic shock technique) or extracted (using Triton X-100), fragments of actin filament bundles could still be found associated with the membrane ghost indicating that some of the actin filament bundles in the cortex were tightly attached to the membrane. Using a double staining technique, actin filaments and microtubules were co-localized in the pollen protoplast. The co-alignment of some of the actin filament bundles with the microtubule bundles suggested that the actin cytoskeleton and the microtubule cytoskeleton were not distributed at random but in a well organized and orchestrated manner [possibly under the control of a yet undiscovered structure(s). The actin filament cytoskeleton in the generative cells failed to stain either in pollen or pollen tube, but they became stained in the pollen protoplast. The actin cytoskeleton in the generative cell appeared as a loosely organized network made up of short and long actin filament bundles.

Key words: Actin filament cytoskeleton, Pollen, Pollen protoplast, Narcissus cyclamineus, Phalloidin

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