Cytoplasniic differentiation during microsporogenesis in higher plants

H. Dichinnson


Conspicuous cytoplasmic dedifferentiation in the pollen mother cells takes place early in the meiotic prophase of many plants. This event involves the removal of much of the cytoplasmic RNA. and the differentiation of both plastids and mitochondria to approaching the sole expression of their genomes. Much of the RNA removed from the cytoplasm passes to the nucleoplasm where it is utilised in the construction of a new `generation' of ribusomes. These new ribosomes are incorporated into cytoplasmic `nuclewhich disintegrate in the post-meiotic cytoplasm, restoring its ribosomes to pre-prophase levels. These changes are interpreted as evidence of a process by which the cytoplasm is cleansed of sporophytic control elements, both for the expression of the new gametophytic genome, and in the female cells of higher plants, for transmission to the new generation. The absence of control elements (presumably long-term messenger RNA) from the cytoplasm would result in the dedifferentiation observed in the organelles, and the low levels of reserves in these cells presumably results in characteristically lengthy and unusual redifferentiation of both plastids and mitochondria, once information-carrying molecules again enter the cytosol.

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