Synergid function in double fertilization

scott meissner smeissne at 3B2ADM.MCKENDREE.EDU
Thu Jan 30 13:00:43 EST 1997

	I was going through double fertilization this
morning in lecture and a student asked me how the
synergid would recognise an inappropriate sperm, and 
how it would keep it from reaching the egg.
	I have not read anything on sperm processing 
by the synergids.  But I can concieve of some likely
processes and would appreciate any pointers anyone 
can share.
	My (most likely incorrect) conception:

1)  The synergid is destroyed after processing the
sperm.  Irregardless of whether the sperm are viable or
2)  The inviable sperm are destroyed along with the 
	(How the cell does autolysis I do not know...)
3)  If one synergid is lost through the above, the other
can process a second set of sperm.  Or is the whole ovule
lost after one attempt?
4)  Somehow the viable sperm are altered and the nucleus is
passed along to the egg and secondary endosperm cell.  but
this must involve removal of cytoplasm and organelles.  

	I'd appreciate any help that can be shared on 
synergid function so that I can try to address this 
student's question next week.


Scott T. Meissner
McKendree College
smeissne at

Aure Entuluva!

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