Background and Aims
Microsporogenesis in monocots is often characterized by successive cytokinesis with centrifugal cell plate formation. Pollen grains in monocots are predominantly monosulcate, but variation occurs, including the lack of apertures. The aperture pattern can be determined by microsporogenesis features such as the tetrad shape and the last sites of callose deposition among the microspores. Potamogeton belongs to the early divergent Potamogetonaceae and possesses inaperturate pollen, a type of pollen for which it has been suggested that there is a release of the constraint on tetrad shape. This study aimed to investigate the microsporogenesis and the ultrastructure of pollen wall in species of Potamogeton in order to better understand the relationship between microsporogenesis features and the inaperturate condition.
The microsporogenesis was investigated using both light and epifluorescence microscopy. The ultrastructure of the pollen grain was studied using transmission electron microscopy.
The cytokinesis is successive and formation of the intersporal callose wall is achieved by centrifugal cell plates, as a one-step process. The microspore tetrads were tetragonal, decussate, T-shaped and linear, except in P. pusillus, which showed less variation. This species also showed a callose ring in the microsporocyte, and some rhomboidal tetrads. In the mature pollen, the thickening observed in a broad area of the intine was here interpreted as an artefact.
The data support the view that there is a correlation between the inaperturate pollen production and the release of constraint on tetrad shape. However, in P. pusillus the tetrad shape may be constrained by a callose ring. It is also suggested that the lack of apertures in the pollen of Potamogeton may be due to the lack of specific sites on which callose deposition is completed. Moreover, inaperturate pollen of Potamogeton would be better classified as omniaperturate.
Alismatales; callose; microsporogenesis; pollen aperture; Potamogeton illinoensis; P. polygonus; P. pusillus; tetrad shape
Background and Aims
The tam (tardy asynchronous meiosis) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, which exhibits a modified cytokinesis with a switch from simultaneous to successive cytokinesis, was used to perform a direct test of the implication of cytokinesis in aperture-pattern ontogeny of angiosperm pollen grains. The aperture pattern corresponds to the number and arrangement of apertures (areas of the pollen wall permitting pollen tube germination) on the surface of the pollen grain.
A comparative analysis of meiosis and aperture distribution was performed in two mutant strains of arabidopsis: quartet and quartet-tam.
While the number of apertures is not affected in the quartet-tam mutant, the arrangement of the three apertures is modified compared with the quartet, resulting in a different aperture pattern.
These results directly demonstrate the relationship between the type of sporocytic cytokinesis and pollen aperture-pattern ontogeny.
Cytokinesis; microsporogenesis; pollen; aperture pattern; A-type cyclin; tam; tardy asynchronous meiosis; Arabidopsis thaliana
The uniaperturate pollen of wheat is dispersed in a partially hydrated condition. Amyloplasts are concentrated in the apertural hemisphere where they surround the two sperms, while vigorously moving polysaccharide-containing wall precursor bodies (P-particles) together with the vegetative nucleus occupy the other. This disposition is the product of a post-meiotic developmental sequence apparently peculiar to the grasses. During vacuolation of the spore after release from the tetrad, the nucleus is displaced to the pole of the cell opposite the site of the germination aperture, already defined in the tetrad. Following pollen mitosis, the vegetative nucleus migrates along the wall of the vegetative cell towards the aperture, leaving the generative cell at the opposite pole isolated by a callose wall. As the vacuole is resorbed, the generative cell rounds up, loses its wall and follows the vegetative nucleus, passing along the wall of the vegetative cell towards the aperture where it eventually divides to produce the two sperms. Throughout this period of nucleus and cell manoeuvrings, minor inclusions of the vegetative cell cytoplasm, including mitochondria, lipid globuli and developing amyloplasts, move randomly. Coordinated vectorial movement begins after the main period of starch accumulation, when the amyloplasts migrate individually into the apertural hemisphere of the grain, a final redistribution betokening the attainment of germinability. In the present paper we correlate aspects of the evolution of the actin cytoskeleton with these events in the developing grain, and relate the observations to published evidence from another monocotyledonous species concerning the timing of the expression of actin genes during male gametophyte development, as revealed in the synthesis of actin mRNA.
Wheat Tritium Aestivium Pollen Development Intracellular Motility Actin Cytoskeleton
In most flowering plants, pollen is dispersed as monads. However, aggregated pollen shedding in groups of four or more pollen grains has arisen independently several times during angiosperm evolution. The reasons behind this phenomenon are largely unknown. In this study, we followed pollen development in Annona cherimola, a basal angiosperm species that releases pollen in groups of four, to investigate how pollen ontogeny may explain the rise and establishment of this character. We followed pollen development using immunolocalization and cytochemical characterization of changes occurring from anther differentiation to pollen dehiscence.
Our results show that, following tetrad formation, a delay in the dissolution of the pollen mother cell wall and tapetal chamber is a key event that holds the four microspores together in a confined tapetal chamber, allowing them to rotate and then bind through the aperture sites through small pectin bridges, followed by joint sporopollenin deposition.
Pollen grouping could be the result of relatively minor ontogenetic changes beneficial for pollen transfer or/and protection from desiccation. Comparison of these events with those recorded in the recent pollen developmental mutants in Arabidopsis indicates that several failures during tetrad dissolution may convert to a common recurring phenotype that has evolved independently several times, whenever this grouping conferred advantages for pollen transfer.
• Background and Aims Arum alpinum has a quite uncommon pollen wall. A sporopolleninous ektexine is missing. The outermost pollen wall layer is formed by the endexine which is covered by polysaccharidic ornamentation elements. An ontogenetical investigation was accomplished to clarify pollen-wall development, with special reference to callose and pollen-wall development.
• Methods Plants of Arum alpinum grown in their natural habitat were collected once a week within the vegetative period and processed for semi- and ultra-thin sectioning.
• Key Results At any stage of pollen-wall formation callose is missing. Microspores are released from the tetrad by invagination of the amoeboid tapetum. The polysaccharidic wall ornamentations are formed by the tapetum.
• Conclusions There appears to be no truth in the dogma that callose is essential for microspore separation and release from the tetrad. The lack of callose does not influence fertility but could be the reason for the uncommon pollen wall, where a sporopolleninous ektexine is missing.
Araceae; Arum alpinum; callose; pollen; spines; tapetum
In somatic cell division, cytokinesis is the final step of the cell cycle and physically divides the mother cytoplasm into two daughter cells. In the meiotic cell division, however, pollen mother cells (PMCs) undergo two successive nuclear divisions without an intervening S-phase and consequently generate four haploid daughter nuclei out of one parental cell. In line with this, the physical separation of meiotic nuclei does not follow the conventional cytokinesis pathway, but instead is mediated by alternative processes, including polar-based phragmoplast outgrowth and RMA-mediated cell wall positioning. In this review, we outline the different cytological mechanisms of cell plate formation operating in different types of PMCs and additionally focus on some important features associated with male meiotic cytokinesis, including cytoskeletal dynamics and callose deposition. We also provide an up-to-date overview of the main molecular actors involved in PMC wall formation and additionally highlight some recent advances on the effect of cold stress on meiotic cytokinesis in plants.
cytokinesis; plant meiosis; phragmoplast; RMA; callose
Callose (β-1,3 glucan) separates developing pollen grains, preventing their underlying walls (exine) from fusing. The pollen tubes that transport sperm to female gametes also contain callose, both in their walls as well as in the plugs that segment growing tubes. Mutations in CalS5, one of several Arabidopsis β-1,3 glucan synthases, were previously shown to disrupt callose formation around developing microspores, causing aberrations in exine patterning, degeneration of developing microspores, and pollen sterility.
Here, we describe three additional cals5 alleles that similarly alter exine patterns, but instead produce fertile pollen. Moreover, one of these alleles (cals5-3) resulted in the formation of pollen tubes that lacked callose walls and plugs. In self-pollinated plants, these tubes led to successful fertilization, but they were at a slight disadvantage when competing with wild type.
Contrary to a previous report, these results demonstrate that a structured exine layer is not required for pollen development, viability or fertility. In addition, despite the presence of callose-enriched walls and callose plugs in pollen tubes, the results presented here indicate that callose is not required for pollen tube functions.
A cytological analysis of the microsporogenesis was carried out in the Agave tequilana and A. angustifolia species. Several abnormalities such as chromosomal bridges, lagging chromosomes, micronuclei, monads, dyads and triads were found. The morphological analysis of the pollen, together with the above-mentioned 2n microspores, allowed us to confirm the presence of 2n pollen as well as its frequency. In both A. tequilana and A. angustifolia two different mechanisms were observed: the first mechanism, a failure in the cytokinesis in meiosis II caused the formation of dyads with two 2n cells and triads containing two n cells and one 2n cell; the second mechanism, involves an abnormal spindle, which caused the formation of triads with two n cells and one 2n cell. Likewise, the presence of monads was detected in both species, these, might be caused by a failure of the cytokinesis in both meiotic divisions. This is the first report about the presence of a Second Division Restitution mechanism (SDR) which causes the formation of 2n pollen in the genus Agave. The genetic implications of the presence of 2n pollen in the genus Agave are discussed.
Agave; Microsporogenesis; Nuclear restitution; Unreduced gametes
A number of innovations underlie the origin of rapid reproductive cycles in angiosperms. A critical early step involved the modification of an ancestrally short and slow-growing pollen tube for faster and longer distance transport of sperm to egg. Associated with this shift are the predominantly callose (1,3-β-glucan) walls and septae (callose plugs) of angiosperm pollen tubes. Callose synthesis is mediated by callose synthase (CalS). Of 12 CalS gene family members in Arabidopsis, only one (CalS5) has been directly linked to pollen tube callose. CalS5 orthologues are present in several monocot and eudicot genomes, but little is known about the evolutionary origin of CalS5 or what its ancestral function may have been.
We investigated expression of CalS in pollen and pollen tubes of selected non-flowering seed plants (gymnosperms) and angiosperms within lineages that diverged below the monocot/eudicot node. First, we determined the nearly full length coding sequence of a CalS5 orthologue from Cabomba caroliniana (CcCalS5) (Nymphaeales). Semi-quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated low CcCalS5 expression within several vegetative tissues, but strong expression in mature pollen. CalS transcripts were detected in pollen tubes of several species within Nymphaeales and Austrobaileyales, and comparative analyses with a phylogenetically diverse group of sequenced genomes indicated homology to CalS5. We also report in silico evidence of a putative CalS5 orthologue from Amborella. Among gymnosperms, CalS5 transcripts were recovered from germinating pollen of Gnetum and Ginkgo, but a novel CalS paralog was instead amplified from germinating pollen of Pinus taeda.
The finding that CalS5 is the predominant callose synthase in pollen tubes of both early-diverging and model system angiosperms is an indicator of the homology of their novel callosic pollen tube walls and callose plugs. The data suggest that CalS5 had transient expression and pollen-specific functions in early seed plants and was then recruited to novel expression patterns and functions within pollen tube walls in an ancestor of extant angiosperms.
Unreduced gametes (gametes with the somatic chromosome number) may provide a pathway for evolutionary speciation via allopolyploid formation. We evaluated the effect of genotype and temperature on male unreduced gamete formation in Brassica allotetraploids and their interspecific hybrids. The frequency of unreduced gametes post-meiosis was estimated in sporads from the frequency of dyads or giant tetrads, and in pollen from the frequency of viable giant pollen compared with viable normal pollen. Giant tetrads were twice the volume of normal tetrads, and presumably resulted from pre-meiotic doubling of chromosome number. Giant pollen was defined as pollen with more than 1.5 × normal diameter, under the assumption that the doubling of DNA content in unreduced gametes would approximately double the pollen cell volume. The effect of genotype was assessed in five B. napus, two B. carinata and one B. juncea parents and in 13 interspecific hybrid combinations. The effect of temperature was assessed in a subset of genotypes in hot (day/night 30°C/20°C), warm (25°C/15°C), cool (18°C/13°C) and cold (10°C/5°C) treatments.
Based on estimates at the sporad stage, some interspecific hybrid genotypes produced unreduced gametes (range 0.06 to 3.29%) at more than an order of magnitude higher frequency than in the parents (range 0.00% to 0.11%). In nine hybrids that produced viable mature pollen, the frequency of viable giant pollen (range 0.2% to 33.5%) was much greater than in the parents (range 0.0% to 0.4%). Giant pollen, most likely formed from unreduced gametes, was more viable than normal pollen in hybrids. Two B. napus × B. carinata hybrids produced 9% and 23% unreduced gametes based on post-meiotic sporad observations in the cold temperature treatment, which was more than two orders of magnitude higher than in the parents.
These results demonstrate that sources of unreduced gametes, required for the triploid bridge hypothesis of allopolyploid evolution, are readily available in some Brassica interspecific hybrid genotypes, especially at cold temperatures.
The pollen grain contains the male gametophyte that extends a pollen tube that grows through female tissues in order to deliver sperm to the embryo sac for double fertilization. Growing pollen tubes form periodic callose plugs that are thought to block off the older parts of the tube and maintain the cytoplasm near the growing tip. The morphology of callose plugs and the patterns of their deposition were previously shown to vary among species, but variation within a species had not been examined. We therefore systematically examined callose plug deposition in Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, tested for heritability using reciprocal crosses between ecotypes that had differing deposition patterns, and investigated the relationship between callose plugs and pollen tube growth rate. We also surveyed callose plug deposition patterns in different species of tomato.
We used in vitro grown pollen tubes of 14 different A. thaliana ecotypes and measured the distance from the pollen grain pore to the first callose plug (termed first interval). This distance varied among Arabidopsis ecotypes and in some cases even within an ecotype. Pollen tubes without a callose plug were shorter than those with a callose plug, and tubes with a callose plug near the grain were, on average, longer than those with the first callose plug farther from the grain. Variations in the first callose plug position were also observed between different species of tomato.
We showed that the position of the first callose plug varied among Arabidopsis ecotypes and in tomato species, and that callose plug deposition patterns were heritable. These findings lay a foundation for mapping genes that regulate callose plug deposition or that determine pollen tube length or growth rate.
Callose plugs; Pollen tube growth; Sperm
We examined callase activity in anthers of sterile Allium sativum (garlic) and fertile Allium atropurpureum. In A. sativum, a species that produces sterile pollen and propagates only vegetatively, callase was extracted from the thick walls of A. sativum microspore tetrads exhibited maximum activity at pH 4.8, and the corresponding in vivo values ranged from 4.5 to 5.0. Once microspores were released, in vitro callase activity peaked at three distinct pH values, reflecting the presence of three callase isoforms. One isoform, which was previously identified in the tetrad stage, displayed maximum activity at pH 4.8, and the remaining two isoforms, which were novel, were most active at pH 6.0 and 7.3. The corresponding in vivo values ranged from pH 4.75 to 6.0. In contrast, in A. atropurpureum, a sexually propagating species, three callase isoforms, active at pH 4.8–5.2, 6.1, and 7.3, were identified in samples of microsporangia that had released their microspores. The corresponding in vivo value for this plant was 5.9. The callose wall persists around A. sativum meiotic cells, whereas only one callase isoform, with an optimum activity of pH 4.8, is active in the acidic environment of the microsporangium. However, this isoform is degraded when the pH rises to 6.0 and two other callase isoforms, maximally active at pH 6.0 and 7.3, appear. Thus, factors that alter the pH of the microsporangium may indirectly affect the male gametophyte development by modulating the activity of callase and thereby regulating the degradation of the callose wall.
Allium sativum; Callose wall; β-1; 3-D-glucanase-callase; Microsporogenesis
• Background and Aims The phylogenetic affinities of the aberrant monotypic genus Duparquetia (subfamily Caesalpinioideae) are at present unresolved. Preliminary results from molecular analyses suggest a basal, isolated position among legumes. A study of Duparquetia pollen was carried out to provide further morphological characters to contribute to multi-data set analyses. Understanding the development of Duparquetia pollen was necessary to clarify the orientation of the apertures.
• Methods Pollen grains and developing microspores were examined using light microscopy, confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Evidence for the orientation of the apertures was provided by the examination of microspores within developing tetrads, using (a) confocal microscopy to locate the position of the ectoapertures, and (b) light microscopy and Alcian blue stain to locate the position of the endoapertures.
• Key Results Confocal microscopy has been used for the first time to examine developing microspores in order to obtain information on ectoapertures that was unavailable using other techniques. Pollen in Duparquetia develops in tetrahedral tetrads as in other eudicots, with the apertures arranged in a modified pattern following Fischer's rule. Pollen grains are asymmetrical and have one equatorial-encircling ectoaperture with two equatorial endoapertures, a unique feature in Leguminosae, and in eudicots.
• Conclusions The pollen morphology of Duparquetia is so unusual that it provides little information to help determine its closest relatives. However, it does fit with a pattern of greater pollen morphological diversity in the first-branching caesalpinioid legume groups than in the more derived clades. The latitudinal ectoaperture of Duparquetia is unique within the Fabales and eudicot clades, resembling more closely the monosulcate pollen found in monocots and basal angiosperms; however, developmental patterns are recognizably similar to those of all other legume pollen types.
Duparquetia orchidacea; Leguminosae; pollen apertures; pollen development; confocal microscopy; tetrads
Pollen development is disturbed in the early tetrad stage of the YX-1 male sterile mutant of wolfberry (Lycium barbarum L.). The present study aimed to identify differentially expressed anther proteins and to reveal their possible roles in pollen development and male sterility. To address this question, the proteomes of the wild-type (WT) and YX-1 mutant were compared. Approximately 1760 protein spots on two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) gels were detected. A number of proteins whose accumulation levels were altered in YX-1 compared with WT were identified by mass spectrometry and the NCBInr and Viridiplantae EST databases. Proteins down-regulated in YX-1 anthers include ascorbate peroxidase (APX), putative glutamine synthetase (GS), ATP synthase subunits, chalcone synthase (CHS), CHS-like, putative callose synthase catalytic subunit, cysteine protease, 5B protein, enoyl-ACP reductase, 14-3-3 protein and basic transcription factor 3 (BTF3). Meanwhile, activities of APX and GS, RNA expression levels of apx and atp synthase beta subunit were low in YX-1 anthers which correlated with the expression of male sterility. In addition, several carbohydrate metabolism-related and photosynthesis-related enzymes were also present at lower levels in the mutant anthers. In contrast, 26S proteasome regulatory subunits, cysteine protease inhibitor, putative S-phase Kinase association Protein 1(SKP1), and aspartic protease, were expressed at higher levels in YX-1 anthers relative to WT anthers. Regulation of wolfberry pollen development involves a complex network of differentially expressed genes. The present study lays the foundation for future investigations of gene function linked with wolfberry pollen development and male sterility.
• Background and Aims There are few embryological reports on wild legumes and even fewer on their seminal appendages. There are no existing studies on the complete ontogeny of these appendages in Cytiseae, a very important Papilionoideae tribe in Mediterranean ecosystems. In this work megasporogenesis, megagametogenesis and aril ontogeny were studied in Cytisus multiflorus and C. striatus, endemics from the western Mediterranean region.
• Methods Ovaries and ovules from flower buds, flowers at anthesis and hand cross-pollinated flowers were sectioned with a rotary microtome and studied under light and fluorescence microscopy.
• Key Results A monosporic Polygonum-type of megagametogenesis is observed in both species but with megasporogenesis characterized by formation of a triad of cells after incomplete meiosis. The original cell wall of the megaspore mother cell and triad, including the transverse walls between the latter, are surrounded by a callose layer that isolates them from the surrounding diploid tissue; this callose layer gradually disappears during embryo sac formation. There are no antipodals in the mature embryo sac. Aril ontogeny starts in pre-anthesis with the formation of the aril primordium, and its normal development will occur only after fertilization, more specifically after endosperm initiation. After fertilization, a reactivation of meristem capacity takes place in the aril cells resulting in slow and sparse growth. Later, this type of development gradually decreases but the aril cells continue to grow by cell expansion, which in the last period of seed development is the only type of growth of the aril. In the mature seed, the seminal appendage acquires an irregular U-shape in transverse section, showing vacuolated cells with a large central vacuole that stores lipids and some proteins.
• Conclusions Meiotic triad formation is due to a failure in meiosis II of the chalazal cell of the dyad. In Cytisus seeds the aril has a funicular origin with predominantly post-fertilization development, but a normal growth of the endosperm is needed for proper aril development.
Aril ontogeny; callose layer; Cytisus multiflorus; C. striatus; elaiosome; endosperm; megagametogenesis; megasporogenesis; myrmecochory; ovule; Papilionoideae; seed
A novel design is described for an aperture that blocks a half-plane of the electron diffraction pattern out to a desired scattering angle, and then – except for a narrow support beam – transmits all of the scattered electrons beyond that angle. Our proposed tulip-shaped design is thus a hybrid between the single-sideband (ssb) aperture, which blocks a full half-plane of the diffraction pattern, and the conventional (i.e. fully open) double-sideband (dsb) aperture. The benefits of this hybrid design include the fact that such an aperture allows one to obtain high-contrast images of weak-phase objects with the objective lens set to Scherzer defocus. We further demonstrate that such apertures can be fabricated from thin-foil materials by milling with a focused ion beam (FIB), and that such apertures are fully compatible with the requirements of imaging out to a resolution of at least 0.34 nm. As is known from earlier work with single-sideband apertures, however, the edge of such an aperture can introduce unwanted, electrostatic phase shifts due to charging. The principal requirement for using such an aperture in a routine data-collection mode is thus to discover appropriate materials, protocols for fabrication and processing, and conditions of use such that the hybrid aperture remains free of charging over long periods of time.
Phase contrast; single-sideband aperture; charging
We examined the warming effects on the stomatal frequency, stomatal aperture size and shape, and their spatial distribution pattern of maize (Zea may L.) leaves using a light microscope, an electron scanning microscope, and geostatistic techniques. A field manipulative experiment was conducted to elevate canopy temperature by 2.08°C, on average. We found that experimental warming had little effect on stomatal density, but significantly increased stomatal index due to the reduction in the number of epidermal cells under the warming treatment. Warming also significantly decreased stomatal aperture length and increased stomatal aperture width. As a result, warming significantly increased the average stomatal aperture area and stomatal aperture circumference. In addition, warming dramatically changed the stomatal spatial distribution pattern with a substantial increase in the average nearest neighbor distance between stomata on both adaxial and abaxial surfaces. The spatial distribution pattern of stomata was scale dependent with regular patterns at small scales and random patterns at larger scales on both leaf surfaces. Warming caused the stomatal distribution to become more regular on both leaf surfaces with smaller L(t) values (Ripley's K-function, L(t) is an expectation of zero for any value of t) in the warming plots than the control plots.
Elevated temperature; maize (Zea may L.); Ripley's K-function; spatial distribution pattern; stomatal aperture size and shape; stomatal frequency
Two accessions were studied for male meiosis in Ranunculus laetus from the cold regions of Northwest Himalayas. One accession showed the presence of 14 bivalents at diakinesis and regular segregation of bivalents at anaphase I which lead to normal tetrad formation with four n microspores and consequently n pollen grains and 100% pollen fertility. Second accession from the same locality revealed the erratic meiosis characterized by the presence of all the 28 chromosomes as univalents in meiocytes at metaphase I. Univalent chromosomes failed to segregate during anaphases and produced restitution nuclei at meiosis I and II. These restitution nuclei resulted into dyads and triads which subsequently produced two types of apparently fertile pollen grains. On the basis of size, the two types of pollen grains were categorized as n (normal reduced) and 2n (unreduced, 1.5-times larger than the n pollen grains). The estimated frequency of 2n pollen grains from dyads and triads (61.59%) was almost the same as that of the observed one (59.90%), which indicated that 2n pollen grains in R. laetus were the result of dyads and triads. The present paper herein may provide an insight into the mechanisms of the formation of various intraspecific polyploids through sexual polyploidization in R. laetus.
Background and Aims
Although orbicular functions are still a matter of debate, they are considered by most authors to be exclusively formed by a secretory tapetum. However, the presence of orbicules on a peritapetal membrane associated with a plasmodial tapetum has been described for Abutilon pictum (Malvaceae) in a previous study. Thus, studies on other species of Malvaceae are necessary to corroborate the presence of such bodies in other members of the family. Pollen and microsporangium development of Modiolastrum malvifolium has been studied in this work.
Anthers at different stages of development were processed for transmission electron microscopy and light microscopy. Membranes and pollen walls resistant to acetolysis were isolated from whole anthers.
Microspore tetrads have a tetrahedral arrangement. Pollen grains are shed at the bicellular stage. The tapetum is invasive, non-syncytial and a peritapetal membrane with orbicules is formed.
This is the first report of the presence of orbicules on a peritapetal membrane in a species with a tapetum of an invasive, non-syncytial type. Taking into consideration all the information on the subject, it can be concluded that the presence of orbicules is not a stable criterion to differentiate between a secretory or plasmodial, or intermediate invasive, non-syncytial tapetum.
Modiolastrum malvifolium; invasive non-syncytial tapetum; orbicules; peritapetal membrane
The presence of callose in sieve plates has been known for a long time, but how this polysaccharide plug is synthesized has remained unsolved. Two independent laboratories have recently reported the identification of callose synthase 7 (CalS7), also known as glucan synthase-like 7 (GSL7), as the enzyme responsible for callose deposition in sieve plates. Mutant plants defective in this enzyme failed to synthesize callose in developing sieve plates during phloem formation and were unable to accumulate callose in sieve pores in response to stress treatments. The mutant plants developed less open pores per sieve plate and the pores were smaller in diameter. As a result, phloem conductivity was reduced significantly and the mutant plants were shorter and set fewer seeds.
Arabidopsis thaliana; callose; callose synthase; glucan synthase-like; phloem; plasmodesmata; sieve plate
Exine, the outermost architecture of pollen walls, protects male gametes from the environment by virtue of its chemical and physical stability. Although much effort has been devoted to revealing the mechanism of exine construction, still little is known about it. To identify the genes involved in exine formation, we screened for Arabidopsis mutants with pollen grains exhibiting abnormal exine structure using scanning electron microscopy. We isolated 12 mutants, kaonashi1 (kns1) to kns12, and classified them into four types. The type 1 mutants showed a collapsed exine structure resembling a mutant of the callose synthase gene, suggesting that the type 1 genes are involved in callose wall synthesis. The type 2 mutant showed remarkably thin exine structure, presumably due to defective primexine thickening. The type 3 mutants showed defective tectum formation, and thus type 3 genes are required for primordial tectum formation or biosynthesis and deposition of sporopollenin. The type 4 mutants showed densely distributed baculae, suggesting type 4 genes determine the position of probacula formation. All identified kns mutants were recessive, suggesting that these KNS genes are expressed in sporophytic cells. Unlike previously known exine-defective mutants, most of the kns mutants showed normal fertility. Map-based cloning revealed
that KNS2, one of the type 4 genes, encodes sucrose phosphate synthase. This enzyme might be required for synthesis of primexine or callose wall, which are both important for probacula positioning. Analysis of kns mutants will provide new knowledge to help understand the mechanism of biosynthesis of exine components and the construction of exine architecture.
Arabidopsis thaliana; Exine; kaonashi; Pollen grain; Sucrose phosphate synthase
7365AB, a recessive genetic male sterility system, is controlled by BnMs3 in Brassica napus, which encodes a Tic40 protein required for tapetum development. However, the role of BnMs3 in rapeseed anther development is still largely unclear. In this research, cytological analysis revealed that anther development of a Bnms3 mutant has defects in the transition of the tapetum to the secretory type, callose degradation, and pollen-wall formation. A total of 76 down-regulated unigenes in the Bnms3 mutant, several of which are associated with tapetum development, callose degeneration, and pollen development, were isolated by suppression subtractive hybridization combined with a macroarray analysis. Reverse genetics was applied by means of Arabidopsis insertional mutant lines to characterize the function of these unigenes and revealed that MSR02 is only required for transport of sporopollenin precursors through the plasma membrane of the tapetum. The real-time PCR data have further verified that BnMs3 plays a primary role in tapetal differentiation by affecting the expression of a few key transcription factors, participates in tapetal degradation by modulating the expression of cysteine protease genes, and influences microspore separation by manipulating the expression of BnA6 and BnMSR66 related to callose degradation and of BnQRT1 and BnQRT3 required for the primary cell-wall degradation of the pollen mother cell. Moreover, BnMs3 takes part in pollen-wall formation by affecting the expression of a series of genes involved in biosynthesis and transport of sporopollenin precursors. All of the above results suggest that BnMs3 participates in tapetum development, microspore release, and pollen-wall formation in B. napus.
BnMs3; Brassica napus; exine development; gene expression; microspore release; recessive genetic male sterility; suppression subtractive hybridization; tapetum
Optofluidic microscopy (OFM) is a novel technique for low-cost, high-resolution on-chip microscopy imaging. In this paper we report the use of the Fresnel zone plate (FZP) based projection in OFM as a cost-effective and compact means for projecting the transmission through an OFM's aperture array onto a sensor grid. We demonstrate this approach by employing a FZP (diameter = 255 μm, focal length = 800 μm) that has been patterned onto a glass slide to project the transmission from an array of apertures (diameter = 1 μm, separation = 10 μm) onto a CMOS sensor. We are able to resolve the contributions from 44 apertures on the sensor under the illumination from a HeNe laser (wavelength = 633 nm). The imaging quality of the FZP determines the effective field-of-view (related to the number of resolvable transmissions from apertures) but not the image resolution of such an OFM system – a key distinction from conventional microscope systems. We demonstrate the capability of the integrated system by flowing the protist Euglena gracilis across the aperture array microfluidically and performing OFM imaging of the samples.
We report on the solution structure of an unprecedented intramolecular G-quadruplex formed by the guanosine-rich human chl1 intronic d(G3-N-G4-N2-G4-N-G3-N) 19-mer sequence in K+-containing solution. This G-quadruplex, composed of three stacked G-tetrads containing four syn guanines, represents a new folding topology with two unique conformational features. The first guanosine is positioned within the central G-tetrad, in contrast to all previous structures of unimolecular G-quadruplexes, where the first guanosine is part of an outermost G-tetrad. In addition, a V-shaped loop, spanning three G-tetrad planes, contains no bridging nucleotides. The G-quadruplex scaffold is stabilized by a T•G•A triple stacked over the G-tetrad at one end and an unpaired guanosine stacked over the G-tetrad at the other end. Finally, the chl1 intronic DNA G-quadruplex scaffold contains a guanosine base intercalated between an extended G-G step, a feature observed in common with the catalytic site of group I introns. This unique structural scaffold provides a highly specific platform for the future design of ligands specifically targeted to intronic G-quadruplex platforms.
Lechevalier, Hubert (Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, N.J.), and Pauline E. Holbert. Electron microscopic observation of the sporangial structure of a strain of Actinoplanes. J. Bacteriol. 89:217–222. 1965.—Actinoplanes sp. P 128 has polarly flagellated sporangiospores. The numerous flagella, formed by the helical winding of subfibrils, were seen clearly only in shadowed preparations. Flagella were never seen in sections of spores. Sporangial formation was followed by examining sections of sporangia at various stages of maturity. The sporangial envelope was the continuation of the outer sheath of the sporangiophore. The sporangiospores were formed by the division of hyphae enclosed within the sporangial wall. The spores were probably formed by simultaneous division of these hyphae. An intersporal substance, which seemed to originate from the outer sheaths of the intrasporangial hyphae, could be seen.