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Ultrastructure of ascospore delimitation in freeze substituted samples ofAscodesmis nigricans (Pezizales)

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Summary

Freeze substitution proved to be a valuable technique for studying the early stages of ascosporogenesis inAscodesmis nigricans. Our observations indicate that the ascus vesicle originated from the ascus plasma membrane. Invaginations of the plasma membrane produced ascus vesicle initials consisting of two closely spaced unit membranes. The appearance of the outer leaflet of each of these membranes was identical to that of the inner leaflet of the ascus plasma membrane. Apparent points of continuity between ascus vesicle initials and the plasma membrane were observed. Ascus vesicle initials accumulated in the ascus cytoplasm near the plasma membrane and then coalesced to form the ascus vesicle, a peripheral, cylinder-like structure consisting of two closely spaced unit membranes that extended from the ascus apex to the ascus base. The ascus vesicle then became invaginated in a number of regions and subsequently gave rise to eight sheet-like segments, or ascosporedelimiting membranes, that encircled uninucleate segments of cytoplasm forming ascospore initials. Like the ascus vesicle, each ascospore-delimiting membrane consisted of two closely spaced unit membranes, the inner of which became the ascospore plasma membrane. The ascospore wall then developed between the spore plasma membrane and the outer membrane. Many details of ascospore maturation were clearly visible in freeze substituted samples.

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Correspondence to C. W. Mims.

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Mims, C.W., Richardson, E.A. & Kimbrough, J.W. Ultrastructure of ascospore delimitation in freeze substituted samples ofAscodesmis nigricans (Pezizales). Protoplasma 156, 94–102 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01666510

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Keywords

  • Ascodesmis nigricans
  • Ascosporogenesis
  • Freeze substitution fixation
  • Ultrastructure