Sexual Plant Reproduction

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 32–42 | Cite as

Development of endosperm in Arabidopsis thaliana

  • R. C. Brown
  • Betty E. Lemmon
  • Hong Nguyen
  • Odd-Arne Olsen
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

 The process of endosperm development in Arabidopsis was studied using immunohistochemistry of tubulin/microtubules coupled with light and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Arabidopsis undergoes the nuclear type of development in which the primary endosperm nucleus resulting from double fertilization divides repeatedly without cytokinesis resulting in a syncytium lining the central cell. Development occurs as waves originating in the micropylar chamber and moving through the central chamber toward the chalazal tip. Prior to cellularization, the syncytium is organized into nuclear cytoplasmic domains (NCDs) defined by nuclear-based radial systems of microtubules. The NCDs become polarized in axes perpendicular to the central cell wall, and anticlinal walls deposited among adjacent NCDs compartmentalize the syncytium into open-ended alveoli overtopped by a crown of syncytial cytoplasm. Continued centripetal growth of the anticlinal walls is guided by adventitious phragmoplasts that form at interfaces of microtubules emanating from adjacent interphase nuclei. Polarity of the elongating alveoli is reflected in a subsequent wave of periclinal divisions that cuts off a peripheral layer of cells and displaces the alveoli centripetally into the central vacuole. This pattern of development via alveolation appears to be highly conserved; it is characteristic of nuclear endosperm development in angiosperms and is similar to ancient patterns of gametophyte development in gymnosperms.

Key words Arabidopsis thaliana Alveoli Development Endosperm Microtubules Seeds 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Brown
    • 1
  • Betty E. Lemmon
    • 1
  • Hong Nguyen
    • 1
  • Odd-Arne Olsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504–2451, USA e-mail: rcb@usl.edu Tel. +1-318-482-6757; Fax +1-318-482-5834US
  2. 2.Department of Plant Molecular Biology, Institute of Biotechnology, Agricultural University of Norway, PO Box 5051, N-1432 Aas, NorwayNO

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