Effects of Salinity on the Development of Hydroponically Grown Borage (Borago officinalis L.) Male Gametophyte

In this research, the effect of salinity on the development of anther in hydroponically-grown borage was studied. Plants grown on hydroponic media are rapidly and transiently stressed. The overall objective of this research was to elucidate the microscopic effects of salinity on the formation, development, and structure of anthers. Flowers, at different developmental stages, were removed, fixed in FAA, embedded in paraffin, and cut into 7-10 μm slices using a microtome. Staining was carried out with Hematoxylin-Eosine, and the developmental stages of the control and NaCl-treated plants were compared. In control plants young anther consisted of 4 pollen sacs. Anther wall development followed the typical dicotyledonous pattern and was composed of an epidermal layer, an endothecium layer, and the tapetum. Microspore tetrads were tetrahedral. Salinity caused certain abnormalities during pollen developmental processes, such as the destruction of the anther wall and both the degeneration and production of abnormal pollen grains. A decrease in plant fecundity, which involves aborting pollen, followed by a change in resource from reproductive activities to metabolic reactions is possibly a general response to the deleterious effects of salinity.

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