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Fine Structural Development of the Megagametophyte of Zea mays Following Fertilization

Alfred G. Diboll
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 55, No. 7 (Aug., 1968), pp. 797-806
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2440968
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fine Structural Development of the Megagametophyte of Zea mays Following Fertilization
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Abstract

The changes in cytoplasmic fine structure during the interval between pollination and zygotic division in the megagametophyte of Zea mays are reported. The rate of membrane synthesis appears to be low in the mature unfertilized megagametophyte. This megagametophyte is suggested to be in a state of relative metabolic inhibition. The rate of membrane synthesis is high in the zygote and free nuclear endosperm. After fertilization the swelling of the mitochondria in all cytoplasms is interpreted to reflect a presumed increase in metabolic rate relative to growth. In the zygote and endosperm, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) production is associated with the nuclear envelope. In all of the material the ribosomes not associated with the ER are helical polysomes which increase in length after fertilization. On the basis of permanganate staining, the ribonucleoprotein of the endosperm is suggested to be different from that of the other cytoplasms. The specific plastid form of each cell type does not change during the first few hours after fertilization. Dictyosomes are most numerous and active in the antipodals, They are least numerous in the egg and zygote. The smallest dictyosome vesicles are in the synergids. Dictyosome number and vesicle size increase in the egg and central cell after fertilization~ Similarities among the megagametophytes of several angiosperms are enumerated.

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