Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Pre-meiotic and prophase I ovules ofCapsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic.(monosporic,Polygonum type of gametophyte development) were fixed routinely or incubated in a modified Gomori medium containing β-glycerophosphate as a substrate. Prior to the beginning of meiosis the potential meiocyte is ultrastructurally similar to the other cells of the nucellus and is distinguished only by its size and position. At the initiation of prophase I dramatic ultrastructural and ultracytochemical changes take place in the female meiocyte. These include the sudden appearance of cytoplasmic structures composed of single and multiple concentric cisternae, distinctive changes in plastids and mitochondria, and the blebbing of 0.3 μm double-membraned vesicles from the nuclear envelope. The concentric cisternae encapsulate portions of cytoplasm containing ribosomes, plastids, mitochondria, ER fragments and vesicles. Both single and multiple concentric cisternae localize high levels of acid phosphatase and function as autophagic vesicles (AVs) that sequester ribosomes and organelles for destruction during meiosis. Plastids stop dividing and become more spherical during prophase I. Some plastids localize acid phosphatase and many show continuities between the outer membrane and the plastid envelope and acid phosphatase-rich RER cisternae. Mitochondria appear as dense, contracted spheres or rods. Some mitochondria localize acid phosphatase but they do not show membrane confluencies with the ER. Some of the plastids and mitochondria that are segregated into the functional megaspore at meiosis II are destroyed but others apparantly survive meiosis and give rise to the plastid and mitochondrial populations of the young gametophyte (Schulz andJensen, unpublished). The lateral and end walls of the meiocyte show patches of intense aniline blue fluorescence and the chalazal end wall of the cell is perforated with large numbers of plasmodesmata.
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