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Calcification of the Charophyte Oosporangium

  • A. R. Leitch

Abstract

The oosporangium is a unique and complex structure consisting of a central reproductive cell (the oospore) surrounded by vegetative cells. In the subfamily Chareae, six vegetative ensheathing cells (i.e. five spiral cells and one basal cell), completely surround the oospore and are in intimate contact with it. After fertilization, a thick multilayered wall, the compound oosporangial wall (COW) forms around the oospore. This wall is derived by the simultaneous deposition of three layers by the ensheathing cells and three layers by the oospore. A calcified layer is deposited onto the COW by the ensheathing cells. Calcification occurs outside the plasmalemma of each ensheathing cell but within the confines of the cell wall; this is ‘extracytoplasmic’ calcification. The ensheathing cells secrete an organic matrix that nucleates calcite development and is presumably involved in crystal shaping. The calcite crystals of Chara are tabular and arranged in stacks, forming columns (like gastropod shell). Columns of calcite are found in Lamprothamnium calcine, although no substructure to these columns has been resolved. The differences seen in the calcified layer of Chara and Lamprothamnium using light microscopy are largely a matter of perspective as to which is being seen, the columns of calcite or the organic matrix.

Keywords

Organic Matrix Calcite Crystal Calcium Carbonate Precipitate Primary Wall Gastropod Shell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Leitch
    • 1
  1. 1.J.I. Centre for Plant Science ResearchColney Lane, NorwichEngland

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