We have characterized female gametophyte (megagametophyte) development and the kinetics of pollen tube growth in self-pollinated diploid genotypes (2n=2x=24) of Solanum cardiophyllum Lindl. that show normal seed formation. In this species megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis give rise to a female gametophyte of the Polygonum type composed of two synergids, an egg cell, a binucleated central cell and three antipodals; however, asynchronous abnormalities resembling mechanisms that prevail during the formation of second division restitution gametes were observed. In self-pollinated pistils at least 1–2% of germinating pollen tubes were able to reach the megagametophyte 60–84 hours after pollination (hap). Although the egg cell acquired a zygote-like morphology 60–84 hap, division of the primary endosperm nucleus was only observed 84 hap. The analysis of genetic variability in full-sib progeny confirmed that seeds are derived from sexual reproduction. These observations suggest that diploid genotypes of S. cardiophyllum can serve as an ideal system to genetically investigate true seed formation in a tuber-bearing Solanum species.
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We thank Daphné Autran for critically reading the manuscript, Ana Laura Aguirre for help during the preparation of semi-thin sections, and Emigdia Alfaro and June Simpson for assistance with AFLP analysis. Mario Luna-Cavazos kindly provided some additional germplasm. This research was supported by grants from CINVESTAV (JIRA-2001) and CONACyT (B-34324 and Z-029). J.-Ph.V.-C. is an International Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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Estrada-Luna, A.A., García-Aguilar, M. & Vielle-Calzada, JP. Female reproductive development and pollen tube growth in diploid genotypes of Solanum cardiophyllum Lindl.. Sex Plant Reprod 17, 117–124 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00497-004-0219-7
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