, Volume 171, Issue 1-4, pp 221-231

Ultrastructural evidence of endoplasmic reticulum changes during the maturation of the olive pollen grain (Olea europaea L., Oleaceae)

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Characteristic features of rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) distribution and proliferation were noted during olive pollen (Olea europaea L.) development, suggesting the physiological significance of this organelle. Initially scarce in the young microspore, ER increases as cytoplasmic vacuoles form. At the vacuolated microspore stage the cytoplasm contains numberous polysomes and elongated rER cisternae arranged preferentially in stacks, with an average intracisternal width of 0.07 µm. Stacks persist in the bicellular pollen grain but consist of fewer, shorter, dilated cisternae (mean intracisternal width 0.1 µm) containing a considerable electron-dense matrix. Cisternae in the mature grain are fragmented, leaving behind an ER of swollen pockets. Pockets of ER containing a material of greater electron density are evenly deposited along the plasmalemma, in close relation with it. A dense material is seen in the tubules of the apertural region, which was lacking in earlier stages. Our results show that ER may be involved in protein transport to the intine.