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Protoplasma

, Volume 165, Issue 1–3, pp 106–120 | Cite as

Double fertilization inEphedra trifurca, a non-flowering seed plant: The relationship between fertilization events and the cell cycle

  • W. E. Friedman
Article

Summary

Fertilization inEphedra trifurca was examined with a combination of light and fluorescence microscopy. Developmental analysis clearly indicates that double fertilization events, similar to those described inE. nevadensis, regularly occur during the process of sexual reproduction inE. trifurca. In addition to the typical fusion of a sperm nucleus and egg nucleus, a second fertilization event occurs between the second sperm nucleus from an individual pollen tube and the ventral canal nucleus. Both of the fertilization events take place within the confines of an individual egg cell of the female gametophyte. Microspectrofluorometric data demonstrate that each nucleus involved in a sexual fusion event proceeds through the synthesis phase of the cell cycle and increases its DNA content from 1C to 2C before the process of nuclear fusion is completed. Photometric data also confirm that the product of the second fertilization event is equal in DNA content (4C) to the zygotic nucleus derived from the first fertilization event, and is prepared to enter into mitosis as a fully functional diploid nucleus.

Keywords

Angiosperms Cell cycle Double fertilization Endosperm Ephedra 

Abbreviations

DAPI

4′;,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole

RFU

relative fluorescence units

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. E. Friedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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