Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The structural and developmental characteristics of the resting sporangium in uniflagellate phycomycetes, together with the type of zoospore, are of high taxonomic value. Among these fungi, however, only a few electron microscopic investigations have been published on this topic, mainly due to technical problems. In the present study ofPhysoderma maydis (Blastocladiales) these problems were overcome as the resting sporangia in this species are formed synchronously, in large numbers, the germination is readily induced and the impermeability of the resting sporangium wall can be circumvented by shaking the prefixed sporangia with glass beads. The germination of the resting sporangia ofP. maydis is described by correlative light and electron microscopic studies and discussed in relation to related investigations on sporogenesis: The germination process starts by a breakdown of large electron-dense accretions found in the resting stage. Simultaneously, the peripheral location of the lipid bodies is lost. The large operculum is pushed open by a protrusion of the inner sporangial wall; an additional wall layer is formed during this process. Synaptonemal complexes are found in the nuclei at this stage, as are nuclear division figures which suggests anEuallomyces type of life cycle for this fungus. Cleavage vesicles, formed from dictyosomes or endoplasmic reticulum, ultimately separate the sporangial content into meiospores. The sequential assembly of organelles into the side body complex is described. Sequestering of the ribosomes into a nuclear cap is interpreted as taking place immediately prior to zoospore discharge.
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