Variation of the Cytological Structure in Nicotiana Megagametophyte

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By screening about 70 000 embryo sacs (ES) of Nicotiana from diverse genotypes, including commercial cultivars, fertile and cytoplasmic male sterile lines, mutant and hybrid forms, we estimated the range of variation in the structural organization of the megagametophyte. According to the extent of expression of the major morphological traits, ES were classified into normal, subnormal, and anomalous with incomplete and complete development. A comparative analysis of cytological variations led us to conclusion that the changes in the megagametophyte morphology resulted from some distortion of one or several crucial events at such stages of megagametogenesis as mitotic division, polarization, cytokinesis, and cell differentiation.

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