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Abstract

The embryology of three polar flowering plants of the family Caryophyllaceae was studied using the methods and techniques of the light, normal and fluorescence microscopes, and the electron microscopes, scanning and transmission. The analyzed species were Colobanthus quitensis of West Antarctic (King George Island, South Shetlands Islands) as well as Cerastium alpinum and Silene involucrata of the Arctic (Spitsbergen, Svalbard). In all evaluated species, flowering responses were adapted to the short Arctic and Australian summer, and adaptations to autogamy and anemogamy were also observed. The microsporangia of the analyzed plants produced small numbers of microspore mother cells that were differentiated into a dozen or dozens of trinucleate pollen grains. The majority of mature pollen grains remained inside microsporangia and germinated in the thecae. The monosporous Polygonum type (the most common type in angiosperms) of embryo sac development was observed in the studied species. The egg apparatus had an egg cell and two synergids with typical polarization. A well-developed filiform apparatus was differentiated in the micropylar end of the synergids. In mature diaspores of the analyzed plants of the family Caryophyllaceae, a large and peripherally located embryo was, in most part, adjacent to perisperm cells filled with reserve substances, whereas the radicle was surrounded by micropylar endosperm composed of a single layer of cells with thick, intensely stained cytoplasm, organelles and reserve substances. The testae of the analyzed plants were characterized by species-specific primary and secondary sculpture, and they contained large amounts of osmophilic material with varied density. Seeds of C. quitensis, C. alpinum and S. involucrata are very small, light and compact shaped.
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Abstract

The embryology of two species, Deschampsia antarctica , a native species, and Poa annua , an alien species in the Antarctic we studied. Flowering buds of plants growing in their natural habitats on King George Island and generative tissues of both plant species grown in a greenhouse were analyzed. Adaptations to autogamy and anemogamy were observed in the flower anatomy of both species. The microsporangia of the evaluated grasses produce a small number of three−celled pollen grains. Numerous pollen grains do not leave the microsporangium and germinate in the thecae. Deschampsia antarctica and P. annua plants harvested in Antarctica developed a particularly small number of microspores in pollen chambers. In D. antarctica , male gametophytes were produced at a faster rate: generative cells in pollen did not become detached from the wall of the pollen grain, they were not embedded in the cytoplasm of vegetative cells, and they divided into two sperm cells situated close to the wall. The monosporous Polygonum type of embryo sac development was observed in the studied species. The egg apparatus had typical polarization, and the filiform apparatus did not develop in synergids. Large antipodals with polyploidal nuclei were formed in the embryo sacs of D. antarctica and P. annua . Poa annua was characterized by numerous antipodal cells which formed antipodal tissue in the chalazal region of the embryo sac. Three distinct antipodals with atypical, lateral position in the vicinity of the egg apparatus were observed in D. antarctica. The diaspores of the investigated grass species were characterized by small size, low weight and species−specific primary and secondary sculpture of the testa and caryopsis coat.
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