, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 297–315 | Cite as

Electron microscopy of zygospore formation inChlamydomonas reinhardii

  • T. Cavalier-Smith


After the disappearance of flagella and associated organelles, and nuclear fusion and chloroplast fusion, zygotes grow considerably. Growth is preceded by an extensive proliferation of rough endoplasmic reticulum from the outer membrane of the nuclear envelope. Nuclear fusion involves the fusion of the outer membranes (or of these endoplasmic reticulum evaginations), and then of the inner membranes. During zygospore formation on agar a complex 4–8 layered wall is formed. Precursors of two of the layers are detectable in the cytoplasm before secretion, one in the Golgi cisternae. Two types of storage granules are formed and fill much of the cytoplasm which undergoes extensive dedifferentiation. Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus disappear. The chloroplast undergoes extensive dedifferentiation, losing its chlorophyll and most of its disc membranes. The resulting leucoplast retains its envelope, some starch grains and a tiny pyrenoid. In liquid culture developing zygospores become joined together in a multicellular mass. This disrupts wall formation, partially inhibits cytoplasmic and chloroplast dedifferentiation, and greatly reduces the zygospores' ability to germinate. The significance of these observations is discussed.


Electron Microscopy Starch Chlorophyll Agar Endoplasmic Reticulum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Cavalier-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsUniversity of London King's CollegeLondonUK

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