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Am J Bot. 1997 Sep;84(9):1301.

Comparison of flagellated and nonflagellated sperm in plants.


Differences among flagellated and nonflagellated sperm in land plants are striking, but close examination reveals similarities in pattern of cytoskeleton and in nuclear structure. The microtubular cytoskeleton of flowering plant sperm consists of microtubule bundles arranged obliquely around the nucleus, terminating in cellular extensions. Microtubules are linked into bundles that branch and rejoin along the axis of the sperm cell, forming a cytoskeleton that determines cell shape but does not actively participate in cell movement. Generative cells and sperm share a pattern of microtubules not found in somatic cells. This pattern is initiated in the generative cell, one division before sperm formation, a situation parallel to spermatogenous cell development in vascular plants with flagellated sperm. Chromatin in flagellated and nonflagellated sperm is condensed by specialized histones.

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