DNA damage in the early primordial anther is closely correlated with stamen arrest in the female flower of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.).
ABSTRACT To investigate the regulatory mechanisms of sex expression in cucumber, morphological observations and biochemical analyses were carried out on inappropriate stamen development of female flowers of cucumber. It was found that developmental arrest of the inappropriate stamen mainly occurs at the anther primordium. This arrest is closely correlated with DNA damage, as detected by TUNEL assay, and might result from anther-specific DNase activation. It was also found that the DNA damage does not lead to cell degeneration, although chromatin condensation is observed in the anther primordia.