, Volume 179, Issue 1–2, pp 46–60 | Cite as

Structural and immunocytochemical characterization of microtubule organizing centers in pteridophyte spermatogenous cells

  • J. C. Hoffman
  • K. C. Vaughn
  • H. C. Joshi
Original Papers


During the development of the spermatogenous cells, the pteridophyteCeratopteris richardii produces three structurally well-defined microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs). The blepharoplast, a spherical body that occurs during the last two spermatogenous divisions, organizes two microtubule (MT) arrays, one associated with a nuclear indentation and the other that organizes the spindle apparatus for the final divisions. After the last spermatogenous division, the blepharoplast reorganizes to produce two new putative MTOCs: the lamellar strip (LS) of the multilayered structure (MLS), which apparently organizes the spline microtubule array, and an amorphous zone (AM), that connects the basal bodies. Thin and semi-thin sections of this tissue were probed with antisera which recognize MTOCs in lower eukaryotes and animals to determine if any of these structures contain MTOC-associated proteins or epitopes recognized by monoclonal antisera. Gamma tubulin antibodies, which recognizeonly the minus ends of MTs in mammalian cells, label along the MT in all arrays found in the pteridophyte spermatogenous cells. Kinetochore MTs are unlabelled near the kinetochore, however. The monoclonal antibodies MPM-2 and C-9, that recognize centrosomal and nuclear epitopes in mammalian cells, label the interphase nucleus, the cytoplasm of mitotic cells, and the blepharoplast during both nuclear indentation and spindle formation. Double labelling of the blepharoplast-containing cells with anti-tubulin and either MPM-2 or C-9 reveals that the blepharoplast-associated fluorescence is the focus of the tubulin arrays. Centrin labels the reorganizing blepharoplast, the MLS, the AM, and a stellate pattern in the transition region of the flagella. These data indicate the usefulness of the structurally well-recognized MTOCs in pteridophyte spermatogenous cells in investigation of land plant MTOCs.


Blepharoplast Gamma tubulin Microtubule organizing centers Multilayered structure Pteridophyte spermatid Immunocytochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Hoffman
    • 1
  • K. C. Vaughn
    • 1
  • H. C. Joshi
    • 2
  1. 1.ARS, U.S. Department of AgricultureSouthern Weed Science LaboratoryStonevilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlanta

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