Author: Hu Shi-yi and Gao Ming-geng
J Integr Plant Biol 1993, 35 (6): -.
The organization of microtubules (MTs) in the generative cell (GC) of germinated pollen and pollen tube in Amaryllis vittata Ait. has been studied with electron microscopy. At the beginning of pollen germination, the GC is long elliptic in shape, and is surrounded by its own membrane and also by that of the vegetative cell (VC) ,both of which appear undulated. In cross section, the GC appears roundish and has many lobes. The MT system of GC is mainly organized in bundles, but single MTs can also be observed. The MT bundles are generally located in the lobes, directly beneath the plasma membrane of the cell. These MT bundles orientate along the longitudinal axis of the cell. They are formed by aggregation of 5–6 MTs at least,more often about 30 MTs. In the bundles the MTs are often linked to each other by "cross-bridge". The single tubules in the eytopiasm distribute randomly in different orientations. When the GC has migrated into the pollen tube after germination ,it becomes elongated and has cytoplasmic extensions both in the anterior and posterior end of the cell. The organization of MTs of the GC in pollen tube is similar to that in the germinated pollen grain,but the number of MTs in a bundle often increases to 50–60. In the bundle the "cross-bridges" between the MTs which always link 3–5 MTs, are still seen clearly. Positional shift between the GC and Vegetative nucleus (VN) may take place during the growth of pollen tube. The physical association between GC and VN may be demonstrated some ultrastructural figures. It may be seen that irregular cytoplasmic extensions in the anterior end of the GC is always enclosed by the VN and the projections of the cytoplasmic extensions lie within enclaves of the VN. There are many MTs sheets in the lobes or extensions in the cytoplasm of the GC. Thus the present study demonstrates that MTs have an important role in maintaining the peculiar shape of the GC and the close association between GC and VN. However, it seems that the MTs are probably also engaged in the movement of the GC during pollen growth.