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Journal Article

Role of endoreduplication and apomeiosis during parthenogenetic reproduction in the model brown alga Ectocarpus

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Bothwell, J., Marie, D., Peters, A., Cock, J., & Coelho, S. (2010). Role of endoreduplication and apomeiosis during parthenogenetic reproduction in the model brown alga Ectocarpus. New Phytologist, 188(1), 111-121. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03357.x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-7C88-0
The filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus has a complex life cycle, involving alternation between independent and morphologically distinct sporophyte and gametophyte generations. In addition to this basic haploid-diploid life cycle, gametes can germinate parthenogenetically to produce parthenosporophytes. This article addresses the question of how parthenosporophytes, which are derived from a haploid progenitor cell, are able to produce meiospores in unilocular sporangia, a process that normally involves a reductive meiotic division. • We used flow cytometry, multiphoton imaging, culture studies and a bioinformatics survey of the recently sequenced Ectocarpus genome to describe its life cycle under laboratory conditions and the nuclear DNA changes which accompany key developmental transitions. • Endoreduplication occurs during the first cell cycle in about one-third of parthenosporophytes. The production of meiospores by these diploid parthenosporophytes involves a meiotic division similar to that observed in zygote-derived sporophytes. By contrast, meiospore production in parthenosporophytes that fail to endoreduplicate occurs via a nonreductive apomeiotic event. • Our results highlight Ectocarpus's reproductive and developmental plasticity and are consistent with previous work showing that its life cycle transitions are controlled by genetic mechanisms and are independent of ploidy.