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ALGAE > Volume 12(4); 1997 > Article
ALGAE 1997;12(4): 263-268.
Gamete Recognition and Signal Transduction during Fertilization in Red Algae
Gwang Hoon Kim
Department of Biology, Kongju National University
ABSTRACT
Fertilization in red algae involves species specific interactions between non-motile spermatia and carpogonium on female plant. Female carpogonium develops special receptive structure for the spermatia, trichogyne. After initial binding between spermatium and trichogyne, series of events involving signal transduction and intracellular movements occur step by step for two to three hours; division of spermatial nuclei, gamete cell fusion, movements of spermatial nuclei in the trichogyne and nuclear fusion. All these processes could be easily observed with light microscope. Filamentous red algae, therefore, are good model system for the study of cell-cell recognition and cell signalling process. In higher plants, gametes are embedded within tissues, and most of the probes for cytochemistry have limited accessibility because of intervening cell walls and tissues. In addition, it is still relatively difficult to obtain gametes in higher plants compared with filamentous red algae from which naked gametes are released in large enough quantities to allow detailed biochemical studies. Thus, red algal gameting system has much to offer, and hopefully the findings will be relevant to gamete interactions in higher plants.
Key words: cell-cell recognition, fertilization, red algae, signal transduction


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