J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1996, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (9): -.

• Research Articles •    

Confocal Microscopic Observations on Microtubular Cytoskeleton Changes During Megasporogenesis and Megagametogenesis in Phaius tankervilliae (Aiton) Bl.

Ye Xiu-lin, Yeung Edward, Xu Shi-xiong (S. Y. Zee) and Tong Sui-hai (Tung Shiu-Hoi)   

Abstract: In nun orchid (Phaius tankervilliae (Alton) B1. ) embryo sac development follows the monosporic pattern. Changes in the pattern of organization of the microtubular cytoskeleton during megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis in this orchid were studied using the immunofluorescence technique and eonfocal microscopy. At the initial stage of development the microtubules in the arehesporium were randomly oriented into a network. Later the archesporial cell elongated to form the megasporocyte. The cytoskeleton in the elongated megasporoeyte was radially organized in which microtubules extending from the nuclear envelope to the peripheral region of the cell. The megasporoeyte then underwent meiosis 1 to form a dyad. The dyad cell at the chalazal end was larger than the cell at the micropylar end. Microtubules in the dyad cell were radially oriented. The dyad underwent meiosis to give rise to a linear array of four megaspores (i. e. tetrad formation). The chalazal-far most megaspore survived and became the functional megaspore, which contained a set of randomly oriented microtubules. The microtubules in the other 3 megaspore disappeared as the cells degenerated. The functional megaspore then underwent mitotic division giveing rise to a 2 nucleate embryo sac. The nuclei of the 2-nucleate embryo sac were separated by a set of longitudinally oriented microtubules which ran parallel to the long axis of the embryo sac. Each nucleus in the embryo sac was surrounded by a set of perinuelear microtubules. The gnucleate embryo sac again underwent mitotic division to form a 4-nucleate embryo sac. The division of the two nuclei was synchronous. But the orientation of the division plan of the two spindles was different (i. e. the spindle microtubules at the chalazal end ran parallel with the long axis of the embryo sac and those at the mieropylar end ran at right angle to the axis of the embryo sac). The 4 nuclei of the 4-nucleate embryo sac were all tightly surrounded by randomly oriented microtubules. Later the paired nuclei at the micropylr end and at the chalazal end as well underwent mitotic division in seguence. At this time when the embryo sac had reached the 8-nucleate embryo sac stage. The pattern of organization of the microtubules was very complex. Initially the nuclei were surrounded by a set of randomly oriented microtubules, but after the two polar nuclei had moved to the central region of the embryo sac, three different organizational zones of microtubules appeared, viz: a randomly oriented set of microtubules surrounding each nucleus in the chalazal zone: a set (in the form of a basket) of cortical microtubules which surrounded the vacuoles and the two polar nuclei in the central zone and a loosely knitted network of microtubules surrounding the nucleus that later became the egg cell nucleus in the micropylar zone. The two nuclei that would become the nuclei of the synergids were surrounded by a set of more densely packed mierotubules. Towards far the most micropylar end some microtubules formed thick bundles. The site of appearance of these thick bundles coincided with the site of development of the filiform apparatus. The pattern of microtubule organization after cellularization (i. e. at the beginning of embryo sac maturation) did not change much. The author's results indicated that various patterns of microtubule organization observed in the developing embryo sac of nun orchid reflected the complexity and dynamism of the embryo sac.

Key words: Mun orchid: Microtubules, Department of embryo sac, Confocal microscopy

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