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Biol Cell. 2005 Sep;97(9):709-22.

Microspore-derived embryogenesis in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.): subcellular rearrangements through development.

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Plant Development and Nuclear Organization, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain.



In vitro-cultured microspores, after an appropriate stress treatment, can switch towards an embryogenic pathway. This process, known as microspore embryogenesis, is an important tool in plant breeding. Basic studies on this process in economically interesting crops, especially in recalcitrant plants, are very limited and the sequence of events is poorly understood. In situ studies are very convenient for an appropriate dissection of microspore embryogenesis, a process in which a mixture of different cell populations (induced and non-induced) develop asynchronically.


In the present study, the occurrence of defined subcellular rearrangements has been investigated during early microspore embryogenesis in pepper, an horticultural crop of agronomic interest, in relation to proliferation and differentiation events. Haploid plants of Capsicum annuum L. (var. Yolo Wonder B) have been regenerated from in vitro anther cultures by a heat treatment at 35 degrees C for 8 days. Morphogenesis of microspore-derived embryos has been analysed, at both light and electron microscopy levels, using low-temperature-processed, well-preserved specimens. The comparison with the normal gametophytic development revealed changes in cell organization after embryogenesis induction, and permitted the characterization of the time sequence of a set of structural events, not previously defined in pepper, related to the activation of proliferative activity and differentiation. These changes mainly affected the plastids, the vacuolar compartment, the cell wall and the nucleus. Further differentiation processes mimicked that of the zygotic development.


The reported changes can be considered as markers of the microspore embryogenesis. They have increased the understanding of the mechanisms controlling the switch and progression of the microspore embryogenesis, which could help to improve its efficiency and to direct strategies, especially in agronomically interesting crops.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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