The rapid growth, large organelles, and synchronous development of T. paludosa pollen grains make them ideal subjects for cytochemical analysis. A microphotometric study of the nucleoli, chromosomes, and cytoplasm fixed at daily intervals during pollen grain maturation indicated that:
1. DNA (Feulgen) synthesis in the generative nucleus occurred during the first third of interphase, while the DNA content of the vegetative nucleus remained unchanged.
2. Throughout development, changes in RNA (azure B) content, in general, paralleled changes in protein (NYS1, Millon) content in each organelle of the vegetative cell. Initially, the RNA and protein of all organelles increased up to mid interphase, when chromosomal and nucleolar fractions began to decline despite a continued increase in cytoplasmic RNA and protein. At least 24 hours before anthesis, the vegetative nucleolus had disappeared and chromosomal protein and RNA of the vegetative nucleus were apparently in rapid decline. Such a system offered an opportunity to study the role of the nucleus, especially the nucleolus, in RNA and protein metabolism in the cytoplasm, by noting what cytoplasmic processes could and could not continue at a time when nuclear mechanisms were absent or minimal. It was found that at least 2 fundamental processes continued during this period: both RNA and protein accumulated in the cytoplasm at a rapid rate.
It was concluded that the nucleus is not the sole source of cytoplasmic RNA, for the data suggest that there are at least 2 separate and independent, or remotely dependent synthesizing systems, one nuclear and the other cytoplasmic. It is evident that nuclear influence on cytoplasmic synthesis need be neither direct nor immediate.