J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1983, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (6): -.

• Research Articles •    

Ovule, Female and Male Gametophyte and Fertilization of Kingdonia uniflora Balfour F. et W. W. Smith

Mu Xi-jin   

Abstract: The structure of ovule, female and male gametophyte, double fertilization and the distrubution of starch grains during the fertilization have been studied. The main results are as follows: ( 1 ) Ovule The ovule is anatropous, unitegmic and tenuinucellate. The nucetlus appears cylindric, since megaspores and embryo sac development, its internal cells of nucellus become disorganized, so that only a single layer of epidermal cells remains toward the side of the micropyle, On the other hand, the integument is not as long as nucellus, as a result micropyle is not formed. And no vascular bundle is found in the integument. (2) Female gametophyte The mature embryo sac is slender and is composed of an egg cell, two synergids, a central cell and three antipodal cells. The egg cell is situated slightly away from the tip of embryo sac. Some of them contain starch grains. Synergids occupy the tip of embryo sac. Its wall at micropylar region appears irregular in thickenes and irregular in ingrowths to form the filiform apparatus. The centrateell is very large, and strongly vacuolated Two polar nuclei come to contact closely with each other, but not fuse, or to fuse into a large secondary nucleus before fertilization. The polar nuclei or the secondary nucleus are usually situated at the middle-lower position of the central cell or nearer to the chalazal end above the antipodal cell. It is different from egg cell, no starch grains are found here. In most embryo sacs three antipodal cells are found. They are not as large as those in other plants of Ranunculaceae. But six antipodal cells or the antipodal cell with two nuclei may rarely be found. Like synergid, the wall of them appears not only irregularly thickened, but clearly with irregular ingrowths. In a few antipodal cells the starch garins are usually found near the nucleus. By the end of fertilization, antipodal cells become disintegrated. (3) Male gametophyte Most pollen grains are two-celled when shedding, and rich in starch grains. A few of them contain single nucleus or three-celled. (4) The double fertilization The fertilization of Kingdonia unifiora Balfour f. et W, W. Smith is wholly similar to some plants of Ranunculaceae studied. First, the pollen tube penetrates a degenerating synergid. And the pollen tube discharges its contents with two sperm nuclei into the degenerating synergid cell. One of the two sperms fuses with the nucleus of the egg, and the other fuses with two polar nuclei or the secondary nucleus of the central cell. If one sperm nucleus at first fuses with one of the polar nuclei, and then the fertilized polar nuclei again fuses with other polar nucleus. Secondly, the fertilization of the polar nuclei or the secondary nuclei completes earlier than that of the egg. The primary endosperm nucleus begins to divide earlier than the zygote. It seems that one of the sperm nuclei come to contact with egg nucleus, the other has already fused with polar nuclei or the secondary nucleus. The zygote with a single nucleolus appears until the endosperm with 16–20 cell. Thirdly, before and after fertilization there are one to some small nucleoli in egg nucleus and polar nuclei or secondary nucleus. However they increase in quantity from the beginning of the fusion of male nucleis. These nucleoli quite differ from male nucleoli by their small size, and most of them disappear at the end of fertilization. It may be concluded that the small nucleoli increase in quantity is related to the fusion of male and female nuclei. In the duration of fertilization, in ovule starch distribution is in the basal region of integument. But in embryo sac, onlysome egg cells, or zygotes contain starch grains, a part of which was brought in by pollen tube. Sometimes the starch grains are found in some synergids and antipodal cells. No starch grains are found in the central cell.

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