Journal Article

The distribution of cell wall polymers during antheridium development and spermatogenesis in the Charophycean green alga, <i>Chara corallina</i>

David S. Domozych, Iben Sørensen and William G. T. Willats

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 104, issue 6, pages 1045-1056
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp193
The distribution of cell wall polymers during antheridium development and spermatogenesis in the Charophycean green alga, Chara corallina

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

The production of multicellular gametangia in green plants represents an early evolutionary development that is found today in all land plants and advanced clades of the Charophycean green algae. The processing of cell walls is an integral part of this morphogenesis yet very little is known about cell wall dynamics in early-divergent green plants such as the Charophycean green algae. This study represents a comprehensive analysis of antheridium development and spermatogenesis in the green alga, Chara corallina.

Methods

Microarrays of cell wall components and immunocytochemical methods were employed in order to analyse cell wall macromolecules during antheridium development.

Key Results

Cellulose and pectic homogalacturonan epitopes were detected throughout all cell types of the developing antheridium including the unique cell wall protuberances of the shield cells and the cell walls of sperm cell initials. Arabinogalactan protein epitopes were distributed only in the epidermal shield cell layers and anti-xyloglucan antibody binding was only observed in the capitulum region that initially yields the sperm filaments. During the terminal stage of sperm development, no cell wall polymers recognized by the probes employed were found on the scale-covered sperm cells.

Conclusions

Antheridium development in C. corallina is a rapid event that includes the production of cell walls that contain polymers similar to those found in land plants. While pectic and cellulosic epitopes are ubiquitous in the antheridium, the distribution of arabinogalactan protein and xyloglucan epitopes is restricted to specific zones. Spermatogenesis also includes a major switch in the production of extracellular matrix macromolecules from cell walls to scales, the latter being a primitive extracellular matrix characteristic of green plants.

Keywords: Chara corallina; antheridium; cell wall; spermatogenesis; pectins

Journal Article.  7027 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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