Cytological characterization of anther development in Panax ginseng Meyer

Abstract

Ginseng (Panax ginseng), a valued medicinal herb, is a slow-growing plant that flowers after 3 years of growth with the formation of a solitary terminal umbel inflorescence. However, little is known about cytological events during ginseng reproduction, such as the development of the male organ, the stamen. To better understand the mechanism controlling ginseng male reproductive development, here, we investigated the inflorescence and flower structure of ginseng. Moreover, we performed cytological analysis of anther morphogenesis and showed the common and specialized cytological events including the formation of four concentric cell layers surrounding male reproductive cells followed by subsequent cell differentiation and degeneration of tapetal cells, as well as the formation of mature pollen grains via meiosis and mitosis during ginseng anther development. Particularly, our transverse section and microscopic observations showed that the ginseng tapetal layer exhibits obvious nonsynchronous cell division evidenced by the observation of one or two tapetal layers frequently observed in one anther lobe, suggesting the unique control of cell division. To facilitate the future study on ginseng male reproduction, we grouped the anther development into 10 developmental stages according to the characterized cytological events.

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Acknowledgments

We express our thanks to Dr. Jakyung Lee, Professor Gynheung An (Kyung Hee Unviversity) for comments about flower sampling and fixation and Li Yang, Junping Yu, and Dr. Jie Xu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) for comments about flower section. This work was supported by the funds from Ministry of Science and Tehnology (2015DFG32560), and the Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (111 Project, B14016), Young Scientist Exchange Program between Republic of Korea (NRF) and The People’s Republic of China (MOST) and NRF (2013R1A1A2064430) (YJ Kim); and Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (iPET; 112142-05-1-CG000), Republic of Korea (DC Yang).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Yu-Jin Kim or Deok-Chun Yang.

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Yu-Jin Kim, Moon-Gi Jang and Lu Zhu contributed equally to this work.

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Kim, YJ., Jang, MG., Zhu, L. et al. Cytological characterization of anther development in Panax ginseng Meyer. Protoplasma 253, 1111–1124 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-015-0869-3

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Keywords

  • Pollen
  • Microspore
  • Cell division
  • Ginseng
  • Reproductive development
  • Stages of anther development