, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 115–128

Colchicine inhibits plasmodium formation and disrupts pathways of sporopollenin secretion in the anther tapetum ofTradescantia virginiana L.

  • S. C. Tiwari
  • B. E. S. Gunning

DOI: 10.1007/BF01304627

Cite this article as:
Tiwari, S.C. & Gunning, B.E.S. Protoplasma (1986) 133: 115. doi:10.1007/BF01304627


During an earlier investigation, microtubules were observed at the periphery of invasion processes in the developing syncytial tapetum ofTradescantia virginiana L. They were also associated with membranous sacs that accumulate adjacent to tetrads, with putative fusion sites where the tapetal plasmodium is initiated, and, in postmeiotic stages, with the perispore membrane that encloses the developing spore cells. Colchicine was administered to developing flower buds to investigate the roles of these microtubules. The results indicate that microtubules neither initiate nor guide the tapetal invasion of the loculus. The treatments, however, resulted in absence of cell coat from invasion processes and prevention of cell fusion. They also inhibited polarized migration of membrane sacs and removed the associated microtubules. The development of an organized secretory apparatus at the perispore membrane was disrupted, with subsequent disordered deposition of sporopollenin in the extracellular spaces of the partially-fused plasmodium. The results suggest that microtubules participate in the formation and internal spatial organization of the tapetal plasmodium, and establishment of a secretory surface that normally produces sporopollenin at the tapetum-microspore interface.


Cell fusionColchicineMicrotubulesPlasmodial tapetumSporopollenin secretionTradescantia virginiana

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. C. Tiwari
    • 1
  • B. E. S. Gunning
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental Biology, Research School of Biological SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberra CityAustralia