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Protoplasma. 2002 May;219(3-4):210-20.

Cytoskeletal organization of the micropylar endosperm in Coronopus didymus L. (Brassicaceae).

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA.


The micropylar chamber of the mustard Coronopus didymus is a developmental domain distinct from the contiguous central chamber and the more extreme chalazal chamber. Early in syncytial development the micropylar endosperm surrounding the embryo becomes populated with unusual fusiform to multilobed nuclei. These nuclei are sheathed by unique parallel arrays of microtubules that focus at tips of the nuclei and flare to connect with a reticulate network in the common cytoplasm. F-actin does not closely invest the nuclei but instead forms an extensive but separate cytoplasmic reticulum. When the embryo is in the early heart stage, the cytoskeleton of the endosperm undergoes a remarkable transition in preparation for cellularization. Microtubules become reorganized into radial arrays emanating from the nuclei, which themselves become spherical. Radial microtubule systems (RMSs), which replace both the parallel microtubules and the cytoplasmic reticulum, organize the common cytoplasm into evenly spaced nuclear cytoplasmic domains (NCDs). F-actin gradually becomes coaligned with the RMSs. Phragmoplasts are initiated adventitiously at the interfaces of opposing RMSs in the absence of mitosis. Cell plate deposition, which is initiated at multiple sites, results in a network of walls formed more or less simultaneously around the densely packed NCDs. The walls, which are rich in 1-3-beta-glucans, join with one another and with the existing walls of both the central cell and embryo to complete cellularization in the micropylar chamber. In the adjacent central chamber where the syncytium is restricted to a thin peripheral layer by the large central vacuole, basic organization of the syncytium into NCDs is followed by alternating cycles of alveolation and periclinal cell division resulting in cellularization.

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