Developmental, ultrastructural and cytochemical investigations of the female gametophyte in Sedum rupestre L. (Crassulaceae)
AbstractThis article describes the development of female gametophyte in Sedum rupestre L. New embryological information about the processes of megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis provided in this paper expand the current knowledge about the embryology of the studied species. S. rupestre is characterized by monosporic megasporogenesis and the formation of Polygonum–type embryo sac. The process of megasporogenesis is initiated by one megaspore mother cell, resulting in the formation of a triad
... ormation of a triad of cells after meiosis and cytokinesis. The functional megaspore, which is located chalazally, is a mononuclear cell present next to the megaspore in the centre of the triad. Only one of the two non-functional cells of the triad is binucleate, which occur at the micropylar pole. In this paper, we explain the functional ultrastructure of the female gametophytic cells in S. rupestre. Initially, the cytoplasm of the gametophytic cells does not differ from each other; however, during differentiation, the cells reveal different morphologies. The antipodals and the synergids gradually become organelle-rich and metabolically active. The antipodal cells participate in the absorption and transport of nutrients from the nucellar cells towards the megagametophyte. Their ultrastructure shows the presence of plasmodesmata with electron-dense material, which is characteristic of Crassulaceae, and wall ingrowths in the outer walls. The ultrastructure of synergid cells is characterized by the presence of filiform apparatus and cytoplasm with active dictyosomes, abundant profiles of endoplasmic reticulum and numerous vesicles, which agrees with their main function—the secretion of pollen tube attractants. Reported data can be used to resolve the current taxonomic problems within the genus Sedum ser. Rupestria.