The cytoplasm of the vegetative cell of the ungerminated pollen grain of Endymton non-scriplus and other angiosperm species contains numerous fusiform bodies sometimes exceeding 15μm in length and 2.5 μm in width, which bind fluorescent-labelled phalloidin and are likely therefore to constitute a storage form of actin. The bodies are dispersed during the activation of the pollen, being replaced by aggregates of slender phalloidin-binding fibrils, which converge towards the germination apertures and are present in the emerging pollen tube. The storage bodies appear to be homologous with crystalline-fibrillar structures, shown in an earlier paper to be abundantly present in the vegetative cells of Nicotiana pollen. These are composed of massive aggregates of linearly disposed units with individual widths of 4–7 nm, probably to be interpreted as actin microfilaments.

Vegetative-cell protoplasts from mature but ungerminated pollen disrupted in osmotically balancing medium release extended phalloidin-binding fibrils of a kind not observed in the intact grain. It is suggested that these are derived by the rapid dissociation of the compact actin storage bodies present in the vegetative cell at this stage of development.

This content is only available via PDF.