Stages in the formation and degradation of pollenkitt in the anther of Lilium have been investigated using the electron microscope. This material, which appears to be a complex of lipid and carotenoids, is formed during the autolysis of the tapetal cells by the fusion of lipidic inclusions with globules derived from plastids. Autolysis of the tapetal cells is progressive for it commences with the disintegration of many cytoplasmic components, followed by the breakdown of storage lipids. The plasma membrane maintains its integrity during these events apparently, by proliferation, aiding in the transfer of the products of hydrolysis into the loculus. During the course of lipid breakdown, a striking vacuolar system is formed in the tapetal cytoplasm, presumably containing the products of this hydrolysis. The source of membranes for this system is clearly the lipid globules themselves. The generation of the membrane apparently involves the participation of electronopaque material, possibly enzymic, contained within the lipid globules.
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Reznickova, S.A., Dickinson, H.G. Ultrastructural aspects of storage lipid mobilization in the tapetum of Lilium hybrida var. enchantment. Planta 155, 400–408 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394468
- Pollen wall