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Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA

Herbicides and the microtubular apparatus of Nicotiana tabacum pollen tube: immunofluorescence and immunogold labelling studies.


PMID 11287173

Abstract

Herbicides are chemical compounds widely used in agriculture. As their intensive application is becoming a cause of environmental pollution, detailed and more sophisticated investigations are needed to understand better their consequences at the biological level. After herbicides are dispersed in the fields, they establish chemical interactions with both target and non-target plants. In both cases, herbicides can interact with the plant reproductive apparatus; consequently they could play a role during the fertilisation process in higher plants. Using an antibody to the alpha-tubulin subunit in immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy techniques, we investigated the distribution of microtubules in Nicotiana tabacum pollen tubes grown under in vitro conditions in the presence of five different herbicides selected among those used frequently in central Italy. Herbicides have a specific effect on the microtubular apparatus of both pollen tube and generative cell. In addition to other tests and assays, these results suggest that the microtubule cytoskeleton of pollen tubes can be used as a bioindicator for studying the toxicity effects induced by herbicides.

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