, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 11-20

Calcium changes in ovules and embryo sacs of Plumbago zeylanica L.

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Calcium was localized in ovules of Plumbago zeylanica from 1 day before anthesis to 3 days after anthesis using potassium antimonate and transmission electron microscopy in pollinated and emasculated flowers. At 1 day before anthesis, embryo sacs (containing an egg cell, a central cell and zero to three accessory cells) appear mature and contain abundant calcium precipitates (ppts), in contrast to nucellar cells. At anthesis, the vacuoles of nucellar cells have enlarged, and micropylar cells, in particular, are heavily labeled with calcium ppts. As pollen tubes elongate through ovular tissues, ppts diminish in ovular cells and become concentrated in the pollen tube cell wall. After fertilization, the calcium ppts sharply diminish in fertilized ovules; in unfertilized ovules, calcium ppts remain abundant up to 3 days after anthesis (when unfertilized ovules are shed). The distribution of calcium in the ovule changes in apparent response to fertilization, suggesting that calcium content may be related to the attraction and receipt of the pollen tube. In contrast with conventionally-organized embryo sacs with synergids, Plumbago accumulates calcium in the egg cell.

Received: 30 December 1999 / Revision accepted: 24 March 2000