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Embryo Sac Development

graphic of embryo sac development

                                        image of Propidium Iodide Staining                                                          image of Toluidine Blue Sections       

                       Propidium Iodide Staining                            Toluidine Blue Sections           



graphic of female gametophyte Female gametophyte development begins with the post-meiotic degeneration of three of the daughter cells, leaving only one functional gametophyte. This single-nucleate (FG1) gametophyte undergoes nuclear division without cell division to give rise to the double-nucleate FG2 stage (Fig. 3A). The nuclei migrate to the opposite ends of the embryo sac syncytium and a large vacuole forms between them, defining the FG3 stage (Fig. 3A). Two more rounds of nuclear division (stage FG4) are followed by cellularization (stage FG5). Fusion of the two polar nuclei leads to the seven-nucleate, seven-celled embryo sac (stage FG6) containing an egg cell, two synergids, a central cell and three antipodals (Fig. 3A). Degeneration of the three antipodals yields the final four-celled embryo sac (stage FG7), ready for fertilization.          

Click the links above for images of developing Arabidopsis embryo sacs

     FG6

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