During the microspore division in Datura innoxia, the mitotic spindle is oriented in planes both perpendicular (PE) and oblique (OB) to the spore wall against which the nucleus is situated. However, irrespective of polarity, the usual type of hemispherical wall is laid down at cytokinesis and isolates the generative cell from the rest of the pollen grain (type A). In PE spores the vegetative nucleus initially occupies a central position in the pollen grain, whereas in OB spores the vegetative nucleus lies at the periphery of the grain close to the generative cell. In anther cultures initiated just before the microspore division is due to take place, no marked change can be observed in either orientation or symmetry of the mitotic spindle when the spores divide. In some, however, cytokinesis is disrupted and deposition of the hemispherical wall arrested. In the absence of a complete wall, differentiation of the generative cell cannot take place and binucleate pollen grains are formed having 2 vegetative-type nuclei (type B). The 2 nuclei in the B pollens are always situated against the pollen-grain wall, suggesting that the disruption phenomenon is related to the OB spores. The incomplete wall always makes contact with the intine on the intine-side of the spindle. Wall material may be represented merely as short stubs projecting out from the intine into the cytoplasm, in which event the 2 nuclei lie close to each other and are separated by only a narrow zone of cytoplasm. In other grains the wall is partially developed between the nuclei and terminates at varying distances from the tonoplast; in these, the nuclei are separated by a wider zone of cytoplasm. The significance of these binucleate grains in pollen embryogenesis is discussed.
- © 1976 by Company of Biologists