Rape embryogenesis. IV. Appearance and disappearance of starch during embryo development

Teresa Tykarska


Starch appears first in the suspensor of the proembryo with two-cell apical part. It is observed in the embryo proper from the octant stage. At first it is visible in all the embryo cells in the form of minute transient grains which disappear during cell divisions. But the columella mother cells and their derivatives have persistent large grains. When the embryo turns green in the heart stage a gradual accumulation of storage starch begins and lasts to the end of embryogenesis. Storage starch grains appear first in the auter cortex layers of the hypocotyl where the largest grains are to be found later, and afterwards in all the other tissues. Starch is usually absent in the frequently dividing cells, but even there it appears in the form of minute grains after the end of cell divisions. Disappearance of starch starts when the intensive green colour of the seed coat begins to fade. The first to disappear are the smallest granules in the regions where they were noted latest. In the embryo axis the starch grains remain deposited longest in dermatogen and cortex cells in the lower hypocotyl part. They are visible there, still when the seed turns brown. In black seeds starch may be only found in the columella the cells of which throughout embryogenesis contain amyloplasts filled with starch. These grains disappear completely at the time when the seeds become dry.

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