Cell wall deposition was investigated during morphogenesis in zygotes of Pelvetia compressa (J. Agardh) De Toni. Young zygotes are spherical and wall is deposited uniformly, but at germination (about 10 h after fertilization) wall deposition becomes localized to the apex of the tip-growing rhizoid. Wall deposition was investigated before and after the initiation of tip growth by disrupting cytoskeleton, secretion or cellulose deposition; effects on wall strength and structure were examined. All three were involved in generating wall strength in both spherical and tip-growing zygotes, but their relative importance were different at the two developmental stages. Much of the wall strength in young zygotes was dependent on F-actin, whereas cellulose and a sulfated component, probably a fucan (F2), were most important in tip growing zygotes. Some treatments had contrasting effects at the two developmental stages; for example, disruption of F-actin or inhibition of secretion weakened walls in spherical zygotes but strengthened those in tip-growing zygotes. Transmission electron microscopic analysis showed that most treatments that altered wall strength induced modifications of internal wall structure.
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