, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 87-96
Date: 14 Feb 2009

Distribution of calcium in the stigma and style of tobacco during pollen germination and tube elongation

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Abstract

Potassium antimonate was used to locate loosely bound calcium in the stigma and style of tobacco. The tobacco stigma is wet and covered by a thick layer of glycoprotein exudate at anthesis. The exudate contains abundant vesicles, which are densely labeled with calcium precipitates. When pollen grains arrive at the stigma, become hydrated, and as the pollen swells, Ca2+ precipitates accumulate at the aperture. Calcium precipitates that accumulate in pollen cytoplasm are initially concentrated within small vacuoles, but as germination proceeds these appear to fuse, forming prominent, densely labeled vesicles that preferentially accumulate near the proximal region of the growing tube. Although the stigma has abundant particles, few calcium precipitates are observed in the transmitting tissue from anthesis to 11 h after pollination. However, at 22 h after pollination, accumulation of calcium increases distally from the stigmatic interface with the transmitting tissue through the length of the style to the ovary. An examination of flowering plants with differing floral biology will be needed to understand the role of loosely bound calcium accumulation and its relationship to tissue-level changes in calcium uptake, maintenance of other calcium pools, including [Ca2+]cyt, and in pollen and style maturation during the progamic phase.

Communicated by M. Cresti.