J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1997, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): -.

• Research Articles •    

Ultrastructure of the Floral Nectary of Arabidopsis thaliana L. Prepared from High Pressure Freezing and Freeze Substitution

Zhu Jian, Hu Zheng-hai and Martin Müller   

Abstract: High pressure freezing and freeze substitution techniques were used to study the floral nectary of Arabidopsis thaliana L. focused on its ultrastmcture of mature nectary at pre-secretory, early secretory and heavy secretory stages. Questions of whether or not the transported vesicles fuse with the plasma]emma, and whether or not the "densely-stained cells" were comparable to companion cells during the secretory process were especially emphasized. The flowers of A. thaliana contained a pair of rather large lateral nectaries and 2 to 4 median ones. The median nectaries were situated at the bases of the two long stamens or between them while each of the. lateral ones was situated nearby each short stamen and between two petals. Before and during the secretion changes in the size of vacuoles and starch grains in the chloroplasts, the number of dictyosomes and endoplasmic mticulum and the distribution of mitechondria occurred before and during the stage of secretion. It appears that transported vesicles from the dictyosomes were transferred directly from one nectarfferous cell to another or to the exterior. They did not fuse with the plasmalemma when they left the cells. A great number of special "densely-stained cells" were different from the companion cells nearby the sieve elements. It was suggested that a tunnel be formed by these "densely-stained cells" connecting the stomata at the top of nectary leading the out-flow of nectar.

Key words: Arabidopsis thaliana, Nectary, Ultrastructure, Vesicle secretion, High pressure freezing, Freeze substitution

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