J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1998, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): -.

• Research Articles •    

Embryological Studies on Apomixis in Pennisetum squamulatum

WEN Xin-Shan, YE Xiu-Lin, LI Yuan-Qing, CHEN Ze-Lian and XU Shi-Xiong(S. Y. ZEE)   

Abstract: Studies on the formation and development of the embryo sac of the apomictic material of Pennisetum squamulatum Fresen indicated that normal archesporial cell did form with consequent development of a megaspore mother cell and later meiotic division to give rise to a triad. But invariably the megaspore mother cell and the triad underwent degeneration after formation. During the period of formation or degeneration of the megaspore or the triad a number of nucellar cells around the degenerated sexual cell became much enlarged. Frequently, one of the enlarging nucellar cells near the micropylar end became vacuolated and then developed into an aposporous uninucleate embryo sac, which underwent two further mitotic divisions to form an aposporous four-nucleate embryo sac, where the four nuclei remained in the micropylar end. Thus in the mature aposporous embryo sac there were one egg cell, one synergid and one central cell (containing two polar nuclei). Antipodal cells were completely lacking. The pattern of development of the aposporous embryo sac resembles the panicum type. There were two types of embryo formed during apomictic development namely ( 1 ) The pre-genesis embryo--embryo formed without fertilization, 1 to 2 days before anthesis, and (2) The late-genesis embryo--derived from the unfertilized egg cells, 3 to 4 days after anthesis. In the late-genesis embryo type, the egg cell divided after the secondary nucleus has undergone division to form the endosperm nuclei. All egg cells developed vacuoles before they differentiated into embryos. The development of the aposporous embryo followed the sequence of the formation of globular, pearshaped embryo and full stages of differentiation. The unfertilized secondary nucleus divides to form free endosperm nuclei after being stimulated by pollination. The development of the endosperm belongs to the nuclear-type.

Key words: Pennisetum squanudatum, Apomixis, Apospory, Embryology

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