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Sperm cells of the pollen tubes of Brassica: Ultrastructure and isolation

Summary

Sperm cells of pollen tubes grown both in vivo and in vitro form a male germ unit. Extensions from both sperm cells of each pollen tube are closely associated with the tube nucleus. A high yield (2.7 × 104. 20 mg−1 pollen grains germinated) of intact sperm cells was obtained following release by osmotic shock from pollen tubes grown in vitro. Structural integrity of isolated sperm was maintained by isolation at low temperature in an osmotically balanced medium. At 4° C many isolated sperm pairs were still enclosed within the pollentube inner plasma membrane. Sperm cells not enclosed within this membrane no longer remained connected as a pair. During isolation vesicles formed on the sperm cell surface from disruption of the fibrillar components bridging the periplasmic space. Both in the pollen tube and after isolation the sperm nucleus is in close association with at least one region of the sperm plasma membrane. Sperm isolated at room temperature showed the presence of nucleopores, and nuclei were euchromatic, instead of heterochromatic as in intact sperm in the pollen tube.

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Correspondence to R. B. Knox.

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Taylor, P.E., Kenrick, J., Blomstedt, C.K. et al. Sperm cells of the pollen tubes of Brassica: Ultrastructure and isolation. Sexual Plant Reprod 4, 226–234 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00190009

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Key words

  • Male germ unit
  • Sperm cells
  • Isolation
  • Pollen tubes
  • Brassica napus
  • Pollen-tube inner plasma membrane
  • Ultrastructure