2022 Volume 39 Issue 1 Pages 5-12
The development of the plant body starts with spore germination in bryophytes. In many cases, the first division of the spore occurs after germination and cell elongation of the spore. In Marchantia polymorpha, asymmetric division occurs upon spore germination to generate two daughter cells: the larger one retains the ability to divide and develops into the thallus via sporeling or protonema, while the smaller one maintains tip growth and differentiates into the first rhizoid, providing a scaffold for initial development. Although spore germination of M. polymorpha was described in the 19th century, the intracellular processes of the first asymmetric division of the spore have not been well characterized. In this study, we used live-cell imaging analyses to elucidate microtubule dynamics during the first asymmetric division concomitantly with germination. In particular, we demonstrated that the preprophase band was not formed in the spore and that the bipolar prospindle, which is a microtubule structure surrounding the nucleus during prophase, migrated from the center to the periphery in the spore, suggesting that it was the earliest visible sign of cell polarity. We also showed that the occurrence of asymmetric division depended on actin filaments. Our findings regarding the first division of the spore in M. polymorpha will lead to a better model for cell-autonomous asymmetric division in plants.