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A study of developing transmitting tissue of Lilium Leucanthum pistils was undertaken in order to correlate structure with function. Lining the stylar canal are stigmatoid cells which contain a secretory zone consisting of a labyrinth of wall ingrowths characteristic of transfer cells. The functional feature of the labyrinth is a high surface-to-volume ration that facilitates an intensive transmembrane flux of solutes. Stigmatoid cells in various stages of development and maturation have been investigated with the aid of electron and light optics in conjunction with cytochemical techniques. During the development of the secretory zone, vesicles, formed by hypersecretory dictyosomes, fuse with the plasma membrane and contribute their contents to the growing wall. The pattern of secretory zone development is basipetal and is associated with initiation of chemotropism. In a mature pistil large crystals, having a basipetal pattern of development, and sensitive to protease, can be observed in the cytoplasm of stigmatoid cells. At anathesis, degradation of the crystal can be observed in the cells of the stigma surface and progresses basipetally as the pistil ages. The role of the crystal is uncertain. Immature pistils cultured in the presence of labeled proline take up the label which at maturity of the pistil is transferred to the canal of the pistil. The label is found in the crystals and secretory zone of the stigmatoid cells. Pollen tubes growing in the canal of a labeled pistil take up the label.

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