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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Comparative histological and ultrastructural studies were made on the gametogenesis and microsporogenesis in isonuclear fertile and cytoplasmic male sterile petunia lines. Using electron microscopy, changes in the mitochondrial double membrane were observed in the tapetal and sporogenic cells of cytoplasmic male sterile anthers as the first cytological sign of breakdown of the process of microsporogenesis at early prophase I. These changes were manifested by a larger space between the outer and the inner membrane and fewer sites of close proximity (“contact sites”) in the sterile mitochondria, as compared to fertile mitochondria. The mitochondrial membrane of the parietal tissue in the cytoplasmic male sterile anthers was not affected in the same way. Even when total breakdown was already obvious in the tapetal and sporogenic cells, the mitochondria of the parietal layer remained intact.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Genetics, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center ; 2: Department of Virology, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center


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