Heritable paternal cytoplamsic organelles in alfalfa sperm cells: Ultrastructural reconstruction and quantitative cytology

T. Zhu, H. L. Mogensen, S. E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sperm cells within pollen grains and pollen tubes of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were observed at the ultrastructural level, and their plastid DNA was detected by DAPI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining. One sperm pair within the pollen grain and three sperm pairs within pollen tubes were reconstructed in three-dimensions from serial ultrathin sections. The two sperm cells are linked by cytoplasmic bridges in both pollen grains and tubes, and the vegetative nucleus is closely associated with the sperm cells within the pollen tube. The number of plastids and plastid nucleoids (DNA aggregates) in the sperm cell pair, collectively, is not significantly different from that in the generative cell; however, over 60% of the sperm cell plastids contain no DNA detectable with DAPI The mean number of mitochondria in sperm cells is reduced from that in the generative cell (from 54 to 17), which suggests that paternal mitochondrial inheritance probably does not occur in the genotype investigated. Sperm cells of a pair may vary in their shape within the pollen grain and tube, but the number of plastids and mitochondria is not significantly different between the sperm cells. Therefore, heterospermy is not a factor determining cytoplasmic inheritance patterns in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cell Biology
Volume59
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 23 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytoplasmic inheritance
  • Male germ unit
  • Medicago sativa
  • Organelle DNA
  • Three-dimensional reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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