Occurrence and phylogenetic significance of cytokinesis-related callose in green algae, bryophytes, ferns and seed plants
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In order to investigate the occurrence of callose in dividing cells, we cultivated a selection of 30 organisms (the prokaryotic cyanobacterium Anabaena and eukaryotic green algae, bryophytes, ferns and seed plants) under defined conditions in the laboratory. Samples from these photoautotrophs, which are members of the evolutionary 'green lineage' leading from freshwater algae to land plants, were analysed by fluorescence microscopy. The β-1,3-glucan callose was identified by its staining properties with aniline blue and sirofluor. With the exception of the prokaryotic cyanobacterium, all of the eukaryotic organisms studied were capable of producing wound-induced callose. No callose was detected during cytokinesis of dividing cells of unicellular green algae (and Anabaena). However, in all of the multicellular green algae and land plants (embryophytes) investigated, callose was identified in newly made septae by an intense yellow fluorescence. The formation of wound callose was never detected in cells with callose in the newly formed septae. Additional experiments verified that no fixation-induced artefacts occurred. Our results show that callose is a regular component of developing septae in juvenile cells during cytokinesis in multicellular green algae and embryophytes. The implications of our results with respect to the evolutionary relationships between extant charophytes and land plants are discussed.
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