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Abstract

Microspores and pollen of Brassica napus were cultured under conditions leading to embryo formation. Concomitant changes in cytoskeletal configurations were analysed. The microfilamental cytoskeleton exhibited a loss of polarity in embryogenic cells but cytochalasin treatment revealed that microfilaments do not influence embryogenesis. Two embryogenic pathways started from microspores and were either characterized by turned division planes or by division when the nucleus was in the cell centre. In both cases microtubules clearly exhibited new arrangements and likely played a major role in newly induced symmetrical division. In pollen, embryogenic development started in the vegetative cell provided the generative cell was arrested near the pollen wall. The concomitant disappearance of defined microtubular arrays is likely to be responsible for the positioning of the cell.