Evidence of programmed cell death during microsporogenesis in an interspecific Brachiaria (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae) hybrid

V.A. Fuzinatto, M.S. Pagliarini and C.B. Valle
Published May 11, 2007
Genet. Mol. Res. 6 (2): 308-315 (2007)

About the Authors
V.A. Fuzinatto, M.S. Pagliarini and C.B. Valle

Corresponding author
M.S. Pagliarini
E-mail: mspagliarini@uem.br


Morphological changes have been investigated during plant programmed cell death (PCD) in the last few years due to the new interest in a possible apoptotic-like phenomenon existing in plants. Although PCD has been reported in several tissues and specialized cells in plants, there have been few reports of its occurrence during microsporogenesis. The present study reports a typical process of PCD during meiosis in an interspecific Brachiaria hybrid leading to male sterility. In this hybrid, some inflorescences initiated meiosis but it was arrested in zygotene/pachytene. From this stage, meiocytes underwent a severe alteration in shape showing substantial membrane blebbing; the cytoplasm became denser at the periphery; the cell nucleus entered a progressive stage of chromatin disintegration, and then the nucleolus disintegrated, and the cytoplasm condensed and shrunk. The oldest flowers of the raceme showed only the callose wall in the anthers showing obvious signs of complete sterility.

Key words: Apoptosis, Brachiaria hybrid, Chromatin fragmentation, Meiosis, Male sterility, Programmed cell death.

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