Sporogenesis and development of gametophytes in an endangered plant, Tetracentron sinense Oliv
The sporogenesis and development of gametophytes in Tetracentron sinense Oliv. were studied with light microscopy. The anther has four microsporangia; its primary anther wall consists of an epidermis, an endothecium, one or two middle layers and one glandular tapetum. Simultaneous cytokinesis follows meiosis, forming a tetrahedral tetrad. Mature pollen grains are two-celled at the time of anther dehiscence. Its ovule is anatropous, bitegmic and crassinucellate; the development of the female gametophyte is of the monosporic 8-nucleate Polygonum type. Significantly, some striking features were first found in T. sinense: (1) anther dehiscence occurs soon after the endothecium fibrously thickens and the intersporangial septum degenerates; (2) tapetum degeneration is retarded, persisting up to the stage of two-celled pollen grain; (3) a few cellular events such as the vacuolization and the contraction and deformation of the pollen mother cell (PMC) and microspore are not normal at the PMC, dyad and tetrad stages. The abnormalities during male reproduction might be one of important factors resulting in the poor natural regeneration of T. sinense.