Indexed on: 20 Jun '13Published on: 20 Jun '13Published in: Protoplasma
Chalazal endosperm haustorium in Rhinanthus serotinus consists of a single large binucleate cell. It originates from the primary endosperm cell dividing transversely into two unequal cells: a smaller micropylar cell and a larger chalazal cell. The chalazal cell undergoes a single mitotic division, then lengthens significantly during development and functions as a chalazal endosperm haustorium. In this paper, immunofluorescent techniques, rhodamine phalloidin assay, and electron microscopy were used to examine the actin and tubulin cytoskeleton during the development of the chalazal haustorium. During the differentiation stage, numerous longitudinally oriented bundles of microfilaments ran along the axis of transvacuolar strands in haustorium. Microtubules formed intensely fluorescent areas near the nuclear envelope and also formed radial perinuclear microtubule arrays. In the fully differentiated haustorium cell, the actin cytoskeleton formed dense clusters of microfilaments on the chalazal and micropylar poles of the haustorium. Numerous microfilament bundles occurred near wall ingrowths on the chalazal wall. There were numerous clusters of microfilaments and microtubules around the huge lobed polytenic haustorial nuclei. The microfilaments were oriented longitudinally to the long axis of the haustorium cell and surrounded both nuclei. The microtubules formed radial perinuclear systems which were appeared to radiate from the surface of the nuclear envelope. The early stage of degeneration of the chalazal haustorium was accompanied by the degradation of microtubules and disruption of the parallel orientation of microtubules in the chalazal area of the cell. The degree of vacuolization increased, autophagous vacuoles appeared and the number of vesicles decreased.