Comparative studies on the cell walls of sexual and asexual bangia atropurpurea rhodophyta i. histochemistry of polysaccharides
Cole, K.M.; Park, C.M.; Reid, P.E.; Sheath, R.G.
Journal of Phycology 21(4): 585-592
A comparative histochemical study of the nature and distribution of acidic and neutral cell wall polysaccharides was conducted on marine sexual and asexual filaments of the red alga Bangia atropurpurea (Roth) C. Ag. Outer and inner walls of this species were clearly partitioned according to staining and transmission electron microscopic characteristics. Neutral polysaccharides were detected in the outer coating (cuticle) but were absent from outer and inner walls of all filaments. Acidic polysaccharides were noted in the outer wall material but not in the inner wall layers of any filaments at any developmental stages. The major staining component of vegetative regions of sexual material and all regions of asexual filaments was a highly sulfated polymer. During sexual reproduction only there was a generalized change in the nature of the acidic component, characterized by a decrease in intensity of staining for sulfates in both male and female filaments and the appearance, in female filaments only, of polysaccharides which presumably were carboxylated. Spermatia attached to both male and female filaments in regions where sexual differentiation was initiated and where changes in the outer wall components commenced.