, Volume 212, Issue 4, pp 487-498

Dynamics of callose deposition and β-1,3-glucanase expression during reproductive events in sexual and apomictic Hieracium

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Abstract.

Callose accumulates in the walls of cells undergoing megasporogenesis during embryo sac formation in angiosperm ovules. Deficiencies in callose deposition have been observed in apomictic plants and causal linkages between altered callose deposition and apomictic initiation proposed. In apomictic Hieracium, embryo sacs initiate by sexual and apomictic processes within an ovule, but sexual development terminates in successful apomicts. Callose deposition and the events that lead to sexual termination were examined in different Hieracium apomicts that form initials pre- and post-meiosis. In apomictic plants, callose was not detected in initial cell walls and deficiencies in callose deposition were not observed in cells undergoing megasporogenesis. Multiple initial formation pre-meiosis resulted in physical distortion of cells undergoing megasporogenesis, persistence of callose and termination of the sexual pathway. In apomictic plants, callose persistence did not correlate with altered spatial or temporal expression of a β-1,3-glucanase gene (HpGluc) encoding a putative callose-degrading enzyme. Expression analysis indicated HpGluc might function during ovule growth and embryo sac expansion in addition to callose dissolution in sexual and apomictic plants. Initial formation pre-meiosis might therefore limit the access of HpGluc protein to callose substrate while the expansion of aposporous embryo sacs is promoted. Callose deposition and dissolution during megasporogenesis were unaffected when initials formed post-meiosis, indicating other events cause sexual termination. Apomixis in Hieracium is not caused by changes in callose distribution but by events that lead to initial cell formation. The timing of initial formation can in turn influence callose dissolution.

Received: 18 April 2000 / Accepted: 10 July 2000