An in Vitro System for Adhesion and Fusion of Maize Gametes

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 Mar 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5153, pp. 1598-1600
DOI: 10.1126/science.263.5153.1598


The development of in vitro fertilization systems in flowering plants is important for understanding and controlling the mechanisms of fertilization. Here a method is described in which isolated maize gametes fuse. In a medium containing 5 mM calcium chloride, sperm and egg cells adhere for several minutes and then fuse within 10 seconds. The method is specific to male-female gamete pairs and results in 80 percent fusion, whereas fusions with other combinations of gametic and mesophyllic cells are less frequent. Eggs fertilized in vitro do not fuse with additional male gametes, which suggests that a block to polyspermy exists.