Journal Article

Behavior of Vacuoles during Microspore and Pollen Development in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>

Yoko Yamamoto, Mikio Nishimura, Ikuko Hara-Nishimura and Tetsuko Noguchi

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 44, issue 11, pages 1192-1201
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Behavior of Vacuoles during Microspore and Pollen Development in Arabidopsis thaliana

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Using the cryo-fixation/freeze-substitution method, we studied the ultrastructural changes and behavior of vacuoles and related organelles (rER and Golgi bodies) during microspore and pollen development, and pollen maturation of Arabidopsis thaliana. In young microspores forming exine (pollen outer cell wall), vacuoles looked like those of somatic cells. In microspores during the formation of intine (inner cell wall), a large vacuole appeared which was made by fusion of pre-existing vacuoles and probably absorption of solutions. In the young pollen grain after the first mitosis, a large vacuole was divided into small vacuoles. The manner of division was not by binary fission and centripetally, but by the invagination of tonoplasts from one side to the opposite side of a vacuole. After the second mitosis, somatic type vacuoles disappeared. In mature pollen grains just before germination, membrane-bound structures containing fine fibrillar substances (MBFs) appeared. The MBFs were considered to be storage vacuoles. In pollen grains from flowers in bloom, MBFs changed to lysosomal structures with acid phosphatases (lytic vacuole). They gradually increased in number and volume, and decomposed the cytoplasm. The autolysis of pollen grains is the first finding in this study, which may contribute to the loss of ability of pollen germination after anthesis.

Keywords: Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana — Autolysis — Golgi body — Pollen — Vacuole.; Abbreviation: MBF, membrane-bound structure with fibrillar substances; rER, rough endoplasmic reticulum.

Journal Article.  4267 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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