[Q] Anther culture - Space aliens stole my mitochondria!
wparrott at uga.cc.uga.edu
Sun Jun 18 14:21:40 EST 1995
In article <9506161909.ah07463 at post.demon.co.uk> markradon at etoncomp.demon.co.uk writes:
>From: markradon at etoncomp.demon.co.uk
>Subject: [Q] Anther culture - Space aliens stole my mitochondria!
>Date: 16 Jun 1995 19:14:44 +0100
>I have been studying A-level biology, and techniques such as anther culture have
>been on the syllabus. However, I have a query which no-one has yet been able to
>solve and I was hoping someone here might be able to throw some light on it.
>When using anther culture, pollen grains are dusted onto the surface of a
>nutrient medium. Occasionally, one will germinate into a monoploid plant. My
> Where does this plant get its mitochondria from?
>Do pollen grains have mitochondria? If so, how come mitochondrial DNA is always
>inherited down the maternal line?
>Any one know the answer to this?
>Any response would be received with great interest.
Good question. The same goes for the chloroplasts.
First, in the cases that I am familiar with, the haploid plant (not
necessarily a monoploid-- if your plant is a polyploid to begin with, what you
recover from anther culture will have more than one genome in it, so it won't
be a monoploid!) originates from the microspore or pollen that is still at the
uninucleate stage-- this is a stage before the mitotic divisions take place
that lead to the formation of mature pollen, and a complete cell is still
Secondly, pollen transmission of cytoplasmic organelles in angiosperms is
probably more common than previously thought.
Here are a couple of references for those interested:
Herberle-Bors E (1985) In vitro haploid formation from pollen: a critical review.
Theor Appl Genet 71:361-374
Reynolds TL (1990) Ultrastructure of pollen embryogenesis. In: Bajaj YPS (Ed)
Biotechnology in agriculture and forestry, Vol. 12 Haploids in crop
improvement I (pp 66-82). Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg
Lee DJ, Blake TK & Smith SE (1988) Biparental inheritance of chloroplast DNA
and the existence of heteroplasmic cells in alfalfa. Theor Appl Genet
Erickson L, Kemble R & Swanson E (1989) The Brassica mitochondrial plasmid can
be sexually transmitted. Pollen transfer of a cytoplasmic genetic element.
Mol Gen Genet 218:419-422
Erickson L & Kemble R (1990) Paternal inheritance of mitochondria in rapeseed
(Brassica napus). Mol Gen Genet 222:135-139
Dulieu H, Derepas A & Cornu A (1990) Le rôle du pollen dans la transmission
des chloroplasts et des mitochondries. Etude d'un cas particulier chez
Petunia. Bull Soc bot Fr , Actual bot 137:49-56
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