In the liverwort Sphaerocarpus donnellii Aust., the behavior of the cell constituents, especially of mitochondria and plastids, was studied by electron microscopy during the development of the egg and its preceding cells. A degeneration and elimination of mitochondria and plastids was not found in any of the developmental stages. In all growth phases of the archegonium, the plastids may deposit starch which becomes especially frequent in the maturing egg cell. No indications have been observed that new mitochondria or plastids generate from the nuclear evaginations, which often penetrate deeply into the cytoplasm of the maturing and fully developed eggs. A quantitative investigation based on general micrographs elucidates the numerical aspects of the cell constituents during oögenesis. With the increase of cell volume, the numbers of dictyosomes, mitochondria, plastids, and lipid bodies increase. From the stages of the mother cell of the axial row up to that of the mature egg, the cell volume enlarges about 8 times and the nucleus volume about 15 times. Simultaneously, the numbers of mitochondria and plastids increase up to 8 to 15 times. On the basis of these findings, mitochondria and plastids with three-dimensional narrow constrictions are interpreted as divisional stages.

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