J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1985, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

The Ovule Structure and Development of Male and Female Gametophytes in Araentotaxus

Chen Zu-keng and Wang Fu-xiong Wang Fu-hsiung   

Abstract: The ovules of Amentotaxus are 2–2.5 cm in length and about 1.3 cm in width. Aril, which contains about 14—17 secretory canals in transection, is com- posed of parenchyma. The vascular bundles are absent in aril. The integument is com- posed of ceils of outer, middle, and inner regions. The middle region of the integument is about 10 cells in thickness. The Integuments are basally parenchymatous before pollination and then the cells become elongating and thickenning in middle region after pollination. Finally the micropylar canal is forced to be closed. In addition, there are 8–14 vascular bundles with centripetal xylem arranged in a ring in integument. One of the most remarkable feature of the ovule is that there is a pollen chamber formed at the top of nucellus before pollination. At this time because epidermis of nucellus does not disintegrate, the pollen chamber looks like conical in longitudinal section. After pollination the pollen chamber was becoming closed due to elongation and thickenning of cells in the middle region of integument. At the base of ovule there are 4–5 pairs of bracts which contain a larger secretory cavity and a centripetal xylem in a vascular bundle. It is interesting that wax layer of 30–40 μm thick is covered on the surface of integument, aril and bract. Usually 3–4 microsporangia which are hypodermal in origin, occur in abaxial side of a microsporophyll. In some cases the tapetum is partly enlarging and extruding into the developing tetrahedral tetrads. The mature pollen comprises an antheridial initial and a tube cell. About 20 pollen grains may germinate in the same ovule. The megaspore divide successively 8 times to produce 256 nuclei and then cell wall formation takes place. The female gametophyte is about 830–908 μm in length and 500 μm in width. The archegonia are single, terminal, and 6–7 in number. The mature archgonium, with ventral canal nucleus, is about 430 μm in length and 80–108 μm in width. The female gametophyte is often growing against the upper part of the nuceilus and makes the cells of the latter gradually to be disintegrated. The ovule construction of Amentotaxus is in some degree similar to that of Ginkgo in having a comparatively well developed pollen chamber. The mature pollen of Amentotaxus, which is similar to that of Cephalotaxus is composed of 2-cells. In sum, Amentotaxus perhaps is the most primitive genus in Taxaceae and it is closely related to Cephalotaxus.

Key words: Amentotaxus, Ovules, Male and female gametophytes

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