Stronghill PE, Azimi W, Hasenkampf CA
Plant Methods 2014;10(1):33
BACKGROUND: Meiosis progression in the more recent past has been investigated using 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) uptake by S-phase meiocytes undergoing DNA replication. BrdU uptake is detected by reaction with BrdU antibody followed by epifluorescent microscopy examination of chromosome spreads and/or squashes. We here report using confocal microscopic examination of intact meiocytes in conjunction with the new thymidine analog 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU). The simplicity of the EdU detection coupled with confocal examination of anthers provides a more exact temporal description of meiotic prophase I progression in Arabidopsis and opens up the possibility of examining the coordination of microsporocyte development with the other tissues of the anther.
RESULTS: Using our time course protocol, we have determined the duration of wild type Arabidopsis leptotene to be 5 h, zygotene -6 h, pachytene -10 h and a diplotene duration of approximately 1 h. We estimate G2 duration to be approximately 7 h based on the timing of the initial appearance of EdU signal in early leptotene meiocytes. In addition we have found that DNA replication in meiocytes is not done synchronously with the associated tapetal layer of cells. The EdU labeling suggests that S-phase replication of meiocyte DNA precedes the duplication of tapetal cell DNA.
CONCLUSIONS: The increased number of meiotic staging criteria that can be assessed in our confocal analysis, as compared to chromosome spreading or squashing, makes the identification of even the early and late portions of the prophase I substages attainable. This enhanced staging coupled with the ability to easily generate large data sets at hourly time points makes it possible to more exactly determine substage duration and to detect modest temporal abnormalities involving meiocyte entrance into and/or exit from leptotene, zygotene and pachytene. Confocal analysis also makes it possible to study the relationships between different cell types within the flower bud as meiosis proceeds.