Early seedling growth and morphogenesis in the xantha1 mutant of sunflower with alteration of chloroplast biogenesis
ABSTRACT In the xantha1 (xan1) mutant of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), the effects on organ anatomy and seedling growth did correlate to the alteration of chloroplast biogenesis. The xan1 seedlings grown under 165 µmol(photon) m−2 s−1 revealed a severely altered chloroplast ultrastructure in cotyledons and leaves. Cross-sections or clarified tissues of the
xan1 cotyledons did not show evident alterations with respect to normal cotyledons suggesting that the impairment of chloroplast
biogenesis has negligible consequences on embryonic leaves. By contrast, the analysis of xan1 leaves showed that the defects in chloroplast biogenesis were correlated to a drastic reduction of organ size and to a clear
enhancement of the trichome growth. The differentiation of palisade and spongy parenchyma in cotyledons and leaves of the
xan1 mutant was normal but both organs displayed a drastic reduction in the plastid number with respect to wild type. In addition,
xan1 hypocotyls showed a reduced development of the main vascular bundles in comparison with normal seedlings and an undersized
central cylinder of the primary root. The exogenous supply of sucrose was not sufficient to revert in vitro the deficit of xan1 growth and the constraints in morphogenetic processes.