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Planta. 1987 Nov;172(3):309-20. doi: 10.1007/BF00398659.

Observations on dividing plastids in the protonema of the moss Funaria hygrometrica Sibth. : Arrangement of microtubules and filaments.

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Botanisches Institut, Venusbergweg 22, D-5300, Bonn 1, Federal Republic of Germany.


The process of division was investigated in the different types of plastids found in the tip cell of the protonema of Funaria hygrometrica Sibth. There were no structural changes in the envelope membranes of any of the plastid types during the initial stage of division. As the process of constriction advanced, thylakoids were locally disintegrated and sometimes starch grains in the isthmus were locally dissolved. In the isthmus, tightly constricted plastids were characterized by an undulating envelope and an increasing number of vesicles. After three-dimensional reconstruction of electronmicrographs a distinct filamentous structure was observed in the plane of division outside the plastid but close to the envelope. At different stages of division the constricted regions were partly surrounded by one or a few filaments. The roundish plastids in the apical zone were accompanied by single microtubule bundles, and the spindle-shaped plastids in the cell base were surrounded by single microtubules and microtubule bundles. A model of co-operation between microtubules and the filamentous structure in the division process is discussed.


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