Plastid exclusion during fertilization

Fig. 2. Cytological mechanisms leading to maternal plastid inheritance in higher plants. See text for details and Table 2 for example species.

Table 2. Modes and mechanisms of plastid inheritance.

Mode of inheritance

Cytological mechanism



(Lycopersicon type)

Plastid exclusion from the generative cell during the first haploid pollen mitosis

Beta vulgaris, Brassica campestris, Gossypium hirsutum, Solanum ly-copersicum, Nicotiana alata, Petunia hybrida, Prunus avium, Spinacia oleracea

Maternal (Solanum type)

Plastid degradation in the generative cell

Convallaria majalis, Epilobium spec., Fritillaria imperialis, Hosta japonica, Solanum tuberosum

Maternal (Triticum type)

Plastid exclusion during fertilization

Hordeum vulgare, Pisum sativum, Triticum aestivum, Zea mays


(Chlamydomonas type)

Selective degradation of the paternal ptDNA after syn-gamy, fusion of maternal and paternal plastids

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Biparental (Pelargonium type)

Presence of plastids in sperm cells, transmission into the zygote

Medicago sativa, Oenothera spec., Pelargonium spec., Rhododendron spec., Hypericum spec.


Presence of plastids in sperm cells and transmission into the zygote, disintegration of maternal plastids in the egg cell

Abies alba, Actinidia deliciosa, Larix decidua, Pinus taeda, Pseu-dotsuga menziesii, Sequoia semper-

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