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Histological and Cytological Characterization of Anther and Appendage Development in Asian Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.)

  • Zhang, Dasheng
  • Chen, Qing
  • Liu, Qingqing
  • Liu, Fengluan
  • Cui, Lijie
  • Shao, Wen
  • Wu, Shaohua
  • Xu, Jie
  • Tian, Daike
Publication Date
Feb 26, 2019
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The lotus (Nelumbo Adans.) is a perennial aquatic plant with important value in horticulture, medicine, food, religion, and culture. It is rich in germplasm and more than 2000 cultivars have been cultivated through hybridization and natural selection. Microsporogenesis and male gametogenesis in the anther are important for hybridization in flowering plants. However, little is known about the cytological events, especially related to the stamen, during the reproduction of the lotus. To better understand the mechanism controlling the male reproductive development of the lotus, we investigated the flower structure of the Asian lotus (N. nucifera). The cytological analysis of anther morphogenesis showed both the common and specialized cytological events as well as the formation of mature pollen grains via meiosis and mitosis during lotus anther development. Intriguingly, an anatomical difference in anther appendage structures was observed between the Asian lotus and the American lotus (N. lutea). To facilitate future study on lotus male reproduction, we categorized pollen development into 11 stages according to the characterized cytological events. This discovery expands our knowledge on the pollen and appendage development of the lotus as well as improving the understanding of the species differentiation of N. nucifera and N. lutea.

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