Dynamics of an antipodal complex formation in wheat (Tritiñum aestivum L.) has been observed in detail using a reconstruction of serial semifine sections. Three consecutive crucial stages have been identified in the development of the antipodal complex: (1) proliferation of initial cells, (2) growth and functional differentiation of antipodal cells, and (3) cell apoptosis. Specific features of the mitotic division of antipodal cells have been characterized. It has been shown that the structure of interphase nuclei and mitotic chromosomes of proliferating antipodal cells is similar to that of nucellar cells surrounding the embryo sac. According to the reconstruction of appropriately oriented serial sections, the division of antipodal cells is asynchronous. DNA content in differentiated antipodal cells has been determined by a cytophotometric analysis; in the case of a mature embryo sac, the ploidy of antipodal cells varied from 8 to 32C. Proliferation and DNA endoreduplication processes in the antipodal complex proceed at different time; the second process starts only after the termination of the first one. DNA endoreduplication is accompanied by total chromatin remodeling; as a result, giant chromosomes are formed in the nuclei of antipodal cells. The final stage of the antipodal complex development is programmed cell death or apoptosis. A model for the structural organization of an antipodal complex has been proposed based on the layer arrangement of cells. The secretory activity of antipodal cells directed towards the endosperm syncytium has been detected for the first time. The analysis of “truncated” ovules with an undeveloped endosperm has shown that developing endosperm can be a possible inductor, which stimulates the functional activity of antipodal cells and triggers their terminal differentiation. The obtained results evidence the functional role of antipodal cells in the development of the endosperm and embryo.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 7, 2011
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