J Syst Evol ›› 1984, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 32-37.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Studies on the Microstructure and Ultrastructure of Photosynthetic Apparatuses in Azolla

Shi Ding-Ji, Li Shou-Quan, Chang Yong-Zhen   

  1. (Institute of Botany, Academic sinica, Beijing)
  • Online:1984-02-18 Published:1984-02-18

Abstract: The structures of photosynthetic apparatuses such as leaves, chloroplasts and symbiotic cyanobacterum (blue-green algae) in Azolla-Anabaena azollae associations (Azolla imbricata (Roxb) Nakai) which occur in paddy fields of China were examined using light, scanning and transmission electrn microscopy. Some comparisons were made with A. filiculoides, A. japonica, A. caroliniana, A. pinnata and A. mexicana. Cross sections of A. imbricata were observed by light microscopy and the symbiotic association between the eukaryotic water fern and its prokaryotic blue-green algal symbiont, an Anabaena, was studied. The symbiotic cyanobacterum cells occur not only in a mature leaf cavity, but also in early stages of leaf development, around leaf primordia, and even in macrospores. Under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) it is possible to see stomata and nipples on the surface of dorsal lobes of the fern. The species in the subgenus Euazolla (i.e.A. filiculoides, A. japonica, A. caroliniana and A. mexicana) have rounded nipples, but those in the subgenus Rizosperma (i.e.A. imbricata and A. pinnta) prolate ones. This morphological character is first reported to be related to the taxonomic system. The result of the observation with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) shows that A. filiculoides contains more thylakoides in chloroplasts than A. imbricata does, and the grana lamellae have more stacks in the former than in the latter. The differences are in agreement with the differentiation of the two species in photosynthetic capacity. This may be one of the differences between the two subgenera. The ultrastructures of the symbiotic cyanobacterum are similar to those of free-living Anabaena. The vegetative cells show a typical bilayered cell wall and the heterocysts have a thikened wall. The thylakoid membranes in both heterocysts and vegetative cells are oftenseen forming whirls. During the division of vegetative cells, their contents aggregate and then redistribute.

Key words: Azolla imbricate, Photosynthetic apparatuses, Microstructue, Ultrastructure, Taxonomic system

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