Fifteen amicronucleate cell lines and 22 cell lines with defective micronuclei were obtained following selective laser microbeam irradiation of the micronucleus. The amicronucleate cell lines showed reduced growth rate and formed abnormal oral apparatuses in asexual reproduction, and failed to produce any oral apparatus in autogamy, in agreement with previous observations on amicronucleate cells obtained by micropipetting. The 22 cell lines with defective micronucleus exhibited various abnormalities of the oral apparatus newly formed during autogamy. These abnormalities included the arrest of membranelle assembly, reduction in the length of the buccal cavity and oral membranelles, disruption of the organization of the membranelles, quadrulation of the dorsal peniculus, and failure of addition of membranellar basal body rows. Hence the micronucleus plays multiple roles in sexual stomatogenesis, deciding early steps of oral membranelle assembly and affecting their subsequent patterning. Our results agree with the notion that the micronucleus acts during a critical period between the second meiotic division and up to the formation of the zygotic nucleus to control the early stage of oral membranelle assembly. Laser microbeam irradiation might have created recessive mutations and/or chromosomal aberrations, which were expressed during this critical period with the formation of abnormal postmeiotic nuclei.

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