Summary. In eudicot postmeiotic tetrads, apertures are usually joined in pairs in highly conserved areas. These appear to be located at the last points of contact persisting at the end of cytokinesis between the cytoplasm of the future microspores. In order to investigate the relationship between cytokinesis and aperture formation, aperture distribution within postmeiotic tetrads and the progression of meiosis were studied in Nicotiana tabacum cv. Ambalema. This variety (inbred line) produces about 85% tricolporate pollen and 15% tetracolporate pollen grains. In addition, about 7% of tetrads are composed of four equal-sized microspores and a supernumerary pseudomicrospore of small size and an equal proportion of tetrads exhibit unpaired apertures (these apertures are not joined in pairs within tetrads). Observation of cytokinesis indicates that both unpaired apertures and pseudomicrospores could result from the persistence of late communications between microsporocytes. Observations of tetrads indicate that an increase in the number of elements that are separated during cytokinesis is correlated with an increase in microspore aperture number. All data converge to support the hypothesis that aperture site determination is partly controlled by the number of walls formed to separate the different elements of the tetrad.
A. Ressayre, A. Mignot, S. Siljak-Yakovlev