J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1998, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (2): -.

• Research Articles •    

An Ultrastructural Study on the Development of Egg- apparatus in Rice Embryo Sac

LIU Xiang-Dong, XU Shi-Xiong (S.Y. Zee) and LU Yong Gen   

Abstract: The development of the egg-apparatus (consisted of an egg cell and two synergids) of rice ( Oryza sativa L. ) was studied at the uhrastructural level. The walls of the egg cell and synergids, immediately after their formation, possessed numerous plasmodesmata. Plasmodesmata were also present on walls between the egg cell and synergids. During the enlargement phase of the egg cell and synergids, the walls at the tip region began to loosen and vesiculate. By the time the embryo sac became mature, the part of the wall of the egg cell and synergids, facing the chalaza, disappeared. Consequently, the tip regions of the egg cell and synergids were only protected by a plasma membrane. When the embryo sac reached full maturity, the upper and middle region of the wall of the synergids broke up into pieces. At that time one synergid began to degenerate. Plasmodesmata persisted at the hook region of the wall of both the egg cell and synergids. Most plastids in the egg cell contained starch grains that persisted throughout the period of the embryo sac development. Starch grains in the plastids of the synergids appeared only before the time when the two polar-nuclei moved into the region above the egg-apparatus. They then disappeared and did not appear again until the embryo sac had reached full maturity. The size and location of the vacuoles in the egg cell were different from those in the synergids. The time of formation was also different. Vacuoles in the egg cell formed late in comparison with the synergids. Vacuoles in the chalazal region of the egg cell (especially at the early stage of the embryo sac development) were much larger than those in the micropylar region. Vacuoles in the synergids tended to concentrate mainly in the chalazal region. There was a peak period of lipid formation in the two synergids. The peak appeared when the embryo sac neared maturity. At the early stage of development, the nuclei of the synergids were elliptical in shape and were situated at the central region near the micropyle. The shape of the nuclei at the late stage of development became less regular and tended to move more towards the micropylar region. Changes in the uhrastructure of the egg cell and synergids of rice appeared to be closely related to the metabolic processes controlling the embryo sac formation and development.

Key words: Rice, Embryo sac, Egg-apparatus, Prefertilization, Ultrastucture

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