, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 117-127

Studies of pollen maturation in cotton: the storage reserve accumulation phase

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This study follows the maturation of the pollen grain of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), particularly the development of the vegetative cytoplasm and the various storage products formed. CTEM, HVEM, stereoscopy, and cyto-histochemistry were used to examine the events occurring during the 9 days before anthesis. Starch began to accumulate in plastids at anthesis minus 9 days and reached a peak concentration shortly before anthesis; lipid deposition followed a similar pattern, but started at 6 days before anthesis. Lipid bodies were always seen closely oppressed to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Dictyosomes appear active during the entire 9 days; first producing vesicles involved in the formation of the intine and, later, producing vesicles stored in the pollen grain. The dictyosome vesicles appear to contain polysaccharides and concentrate in layers around the lipid bodies. Ribosomes increase in number from 6 days before anthesis and are particularly numerous in the mature pollen. From anthesis minus 6 days until anthesis, the ER cisternae become increasingly inflated and, in the hours immediately before pollen release, form pockets filled with lipid bodies and dictysosome vesicles. The mature pollen has a core region filled with ER pockets and a peripheral cytoplasm in which such pockets are generally lacking.

This research was supported in part by NSF Grant BMS575-22-23 and Grant N.RR-00592 from the Division of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health