, Volume 177, Issue 1, pp 37–44

Organisation of microtubules and actin filaments in the cortex of differentiating Selaginella guard cells

  • Ann L. Cleary
  • R. C. Brown
  • Betty E. Lemmon

DOI: 10.1007/BF01403397

Cite this article as:
Cleary, A.L., Brown, R.C. & Lemmon, B.E. Protoplasma (1993) 177: 37. doi:10.1007/BF01403397


Using fluorescent probes and confocal laser scanning microscopy we have examined the organisation of the microtubule and actin components of the cytoskeleton in kidney-shaped guard cells of six species of Selaginella. The stomata of Selaginella exhibit novel cytoskeletal arrangements, and at different developmental stages, display similarities in microtubule organisation to the two major types of stomata: grass (dumbbell-shaped) and non-grass (kidney-shaped). Initially, cortical microtubules and F-actin radiate from the stomatal pore and extend across the external and internal periclinal cell surfaces of the guard cells. As the stomata differentiate, the cytoskeleton reorients only along the internal periclinal walls. Reorganisation is synchronous in guard cells of the same stoma. Microtubules on the inner periclinal walls of the guard cells now emanate from areas of the ventral wall on either side of the pore and form concentric circles around the pore. The rearrangement of F-actin is similar to that of microtubules although F-actin is less well organised. Radial arrays of both microtubules and F-actin are maintained adjacent to the external surfaces. Subsequently, in two of the six species of Selaginella examined, microtubules on both the internal and external walls become oriented longitudinally and exhibit no association with the ventral wall. In the other four species, microtubules adjacent to the internal walls revert to the initial radial alignment. These findings may have implications in the development and evolution of the stomatal complex.


ActinConfocal microscopyGuard cellsMicrotubulesSelaginellaStomata



guard cell



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann L. Cleary
    • 1
  • R. C. Brown
    • 1
  • Betty E. Lemmon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe University of Southwestern LouisianaLafayette
  2. 2.Plant Cell Biology Group, Research School of Biological SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia