The development and maturation of the Elaiosome of Dicentra formosa (Andr.) Walp Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9c67wq18x

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  • The developmental cytology of the elaiosome of Dicentra formosa (Andr.)Walp. was investigated from the time of initial differentiation until complete maturation. Light and transmission electron microscopy studies showed that the elaiosome becomes differentiated from epidermal tissue in the prefertilized ovule. At this time the cells are characterized by their large size, their irregularity in shape, and the presence of a large vacuole. As these cells continue to develop, they become larger, more irregular, and more vacuolate. The cells making up the elaiosome continue this pattern of growth throughout the entire period of seed growth becoming true giant cells at maturity. The accumulation of materials which might serve as a food source for ants was observed by staining with Sudan black and Periodic acid-Schiff's reagent during successive stages. Starch was found to be present in the cells throughout the developmental period, but not in any great amounts. Only in the mature elaiosome was a large buildup of lipid droplets observed. The massive amounts of this lipid led to the conclusion that it is the primary source of food for the ants.
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