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Sex Plant Reprod. 2010 Jun;23(2):153-62. doi: 10.1007/s00497-009-0123-2. Epub 2009 Nov 22.

Sperm dimorphism in terms of nuclear shape and microtubule accumulation in Cyrtanthus mackenii.

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  • 1Division of Innovative Research, Creative Research Initiative 'Sousei' (CRIS), Hokkaido University, Kita 21, Nishi 10, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 001-0021, Japan.


Pollen tubes of Cyrtanthus mackenii, a species with bicellular pollen, were cultured in vitro to investigate nuclear phase changes during generative cell division and male germ unit (MGU) formation, using flow cytometric analysis. Results revealed that sperm cells were formed after 12 h of culture. During sperm maturation, the nuclei of sperm cells were not associated with the vegetative nucleus (unassociated sperm cells; Sua) and became longer than those of sperm cells associated with the vegetative nucleus (Svn). These findings indicate that the pair of sperm cells in the C. mackenii MGU is dimorphic in terms of nuclear shape. Dimorphism coincides with anti-alpha-tubulin antibody immunofluorescence, which was higher in the Sua than in Svn. Following treatment with oryzalin, triggering microtubule depolymerization, differences between nuclear shapes in the two sperm nuclei disappeared, suggesting that microtubule accumulation between sperm cells in the MGU correlates with differences in the nuclear shape.

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