The development of nuclear vacuoles during meiosis in plants

Planta. 1979 Oct;146(5):597-601. doi: 10.1007/BF00388838.


Vacuoles formed by the invagination of the inner membrane of the nuclear envelope have been observed during meiotic prophase in a wide range of plants. In the angiosperm Lycopersicon their formation was found to coincide with the completion of synaptonemal complex formation, and this timing is analogous to that observed during this stage in the silkworm Bombyx. The implications of this activity in relation to the process of chromosome movement are discussed. In the gymnosperm Pinus, the heterosporous fern Marsilea and homosporous ferns Pteridium and Dryopteris the formation of nuclear vacuoles begins much earlier, coinciding with the condensation of chromatin during leptotene. They enlarge and become more elaborate as meiosis proceeds, and may eventually become detached from the nuclear envelope. It is therefore thought unlikely that theyfulfil functions connected with chromosome movement in the manner proposed for the silkworm and the tomato. During diplotene/diakinesis they contain electron-opaque granules and fibrils, and the possible origin and significance of this material is discussed.