Development of the Female Gametophyte and the Embryogeny of Ginkgo biloba

  • Sanae Soma


Trees of Ginkgo biloba are large, long-lived, deciduous, and dioecious. They have pale green young leaves in the spring; the leaves turn to clear yellow in the autumn. Female trees produce many edible seeds every autumn. These beautiful and valuable plants have been cultivated for more than a thousand years in China and Japan. The long-lived trees are especially well preserved in the precincts of Buddhist temples or shrines in Japan. Now they have been cultivated all over the world, but wild trees are found only in China [1], The ovuliferous structure develops in the axil of a scale or a leaf of the short shoot of the female tree. Two to six ovuliferous structures exist in one short shoot [2]. Usually ovuliferous structures consist of a stalk and two sessile ovules on the top. More than two ovules on a stalk, or ovules on a branched stalk, were observed in certain trees [2–9] (Fig. 1). Ovuliferous structures more or less different from the usual type were found in 40% of old trees and in 25% of young trees [2]. These values mean unusual structures are not exceptional. Unusual structures were observed in the axil of a scale in 58% of old trees and in 50% of young trees, while those formed in the axil of a leaf were seen in 26% of old trees and 6% of young trees. Therefore, unusual ovuliferous structures arise much more in the axil of a scale than in that of a leaf [2].


Female Gametophyte Cell Wall Formation Ginkgo Biloba Megaspore Mother Cell Neck Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Seward AC, Gowan J (1900) The maidenhair tree ( Ginkgo biloba L ). Ann Bot 14: 109–154Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Karstens WKH (1945) Variability of the female reproductive organs in Ginkgo biloba L. Blumea 5: 532–553Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Strasburger E (1879) Die Angiospermen und die Gymnospermen. Fischer, JenaGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wettstein R von (1899) Die weibliche Blüte von Ginkgo. Öster Bot Zeit 49: 417–425Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Celakovsky LJ (1900) Die Vermehrung der Sporangien von Ginkgo biloba L. Öster Bot Zeit 50:229–236, 276–283, 336–341Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sprecher A (1907) Le Ginkgo biloba L. These Univ de GenévaGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    De Haan HRM (1920) Contribution to the knowledge of the morphological value and the phylogeny of the ovule and its integuments. Recueil des trav bot néerl 17: 219–324Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chamberlain CJ (1935) Gymnosperms, Structure and Evolution. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mehra PN (1938) Some abnormalities in the female strobilus of Ginkgo biloba L. Proc Indian Acad Sci B 8: 211–217Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fujii K (1896) On the different views hitherto proposed regarding the morphology of the flowers of Ginkgo biloba L. Bot Mag Tokyo 10:7–8,13–15, 104–110Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sakisaka M (1928) On the seed-bearing leaves of Ginkgo. J Jpn Bot 4: 219–235Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sakisaka M (1927) On the morphological significance of seed-bearing leaves of Ginkgo. Bot Mag Tokyo 41: 273–278Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sprecher A (1906) L’origine du sac embryonnaire de Ginkgo biloba. Arch des sci phys et nat Genève 4me période t 21: 74–77Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Takaso T (1980) A developmental study of the integument in Gymnosperms (1) Ginkgo biloba L. J Jpn Bot 55: 14–27Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Carothers IE (1907) Development of ovule and female gametophyte in Ginkgo biloba. Bot Gaz 43: 116–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Favre-Duchartre M (1956) Contribution à l’étude de la reproduction chez le Ginkgo biloba. Rev Cytol et Biol Vegétales Paris 17: 1–214Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stewart KD, Gifford EM, Jr. (1967) Ultrastructure of the developing megaspore mother cell of Ginkgo biloba. Amer J Bot 54: 375–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bold HC, Alexopoulos CJ, Delevoryas T (1987) Morphology of plants and fungi, fifth edn. Harper and Row, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Coulter JM, Chamberlain CJ (1917) Morphology of Gymnosperms. University of Chicago Press, ChicageGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Herzfeld S (1927) Beiträge zur Kenntnis von Ginkgo. Jahrb Wiss Bot 66: 814–862Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    De Sloover-Colinet A (1963) Chambre pollinique et gamétophyte mâle chez Ginkgo biloba. Cellule 129–145Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shimamura T (1935) Über die Bestäubung und Befruchtung bei Ginkgo biloba L. Jpn J Genet 11: 180–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lee CL (1955) Fertilization in Ginkgo biloba. Bot Gaz 117: 79–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Favre-Duchartre M (1958) Ginkgo, an oviparous plant. Phytomorphology 8: 377–390Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gifford EM Jr, Foster AS (1989) Morphology and evolution of vascular plants, 3rd edn. WH Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pettitt JM (1977) The megaspore wall in gymnosperms: ultrastructure in some zooidogamous forms. Proc R Soc Lond B195: 497–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Avanzi S, Cionini PG (1971) A DNA cytophotometric investigation on the development of the female gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba. Caryologia 24: 105–116Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Foster AS, Gifford EM Jr. (1959) Comparative morphology of vascular plants. WH Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Banergee SN, Radforth NW (1967) Gibberellin-like substances in the fruits of Ginkgo biloba L. Plant and Cell Physiol 8: 207–209Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Dexheimer J (1973) Quelques aspects ultrastructuraux du prothalle femelle alvéolaire du Ginkgo biloba. CR Acad Sci Paris 276: 2789–2792Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Friedman WE, Goliber TE (1986) Photosynthesis in the female gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba. Amer J Bot 73: 1261–1266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hirase S (1898) Études sur la Fécondation et Y Embryogénie du Ginkgo biloba. J Coll Sci Imp Univ Tokyo 12: 103–149Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Shimamura T (1935) Zur Cytologie des Befruchtungs Vorganges bei Cycas und Ginkgo unter Benutzung der Feulgenschen Nuclealreaktion. Cytologia 6: 465–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hirase S (1895) Études sur la fécondation et 1’ embryogénie du Ginkgo biloba. J Coll Sci Imp Univ Tokyo 8 part 2: 307–322Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hirase S (1918) Nouvelles recherches sur la fécondation et 1’ embryogénie du Ginkgo biloba. Bot Mag Tokyo 32: 139–143Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hirase S (1918) Further studies on the fertilization and embryogeny in Ginkgo biloba (in Japanese). Bot Mag Tokyo 32: 83–108Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Camefort H (1965) L’ organisation du protoplasme dans le gamète femelle, ou oosphère, du Ginkgo Biloba L. J Microscopie 4: 531–546Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cionini PG, Avanzi S (1971) An autoradiographic study on the development of the female gametophyte in Ginkgo biloba. Giorn Bot Ital 105: 281–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Cionini PG (1971) A DNA cytophotometric study on cell nuclei of the archegonial jacket in the female gametophyte of Ginkgo biloba. Caryologia 24: 493–500Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Stopes MC, Fujii K (1906) The nutritive relations of the surrounding tissues to the archegonia in Gymnosperms. Beih Bot Centr 20: 1–24Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Maugini E, Fiordi AC (1970) Passagio di materiale dalle cellule del tappeto alla cellula centrale dell’ archegonio e al proembryone di Ginkgo biloba L. Caryologia 23: 415–440Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Dexheimer J (1973) Étude ultrastructurale du gametophyte femelle de Ginkgo biloba. 1. Les cellules a reserves. Caryologia 25 (Suppl): 85–96Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Favre-Duchartre M (1943) Sur le comportement des ovules de Ginkgo biloba. Bull Soc Bot Fr 90: 111–116Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Kirchheimer F (1945) Ein Beitrag zur Morphologie der Samen von Ginkgo biloba L. Bull Soc Bot Swisse 55: 304–312Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Hirase S (1896) On the spermatozoid of Ginkgo biloba (in Japanese). Bot Mag Tokyo 10: 325–328Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Herzfeld S (1926) Neue Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Befruchtungsvorganges von Ginkgo biloba. (Vorläufige Mitteilung) Öster Bot Zeit S: 158–161Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ikeno S (1901) Contribution à 1’ étude de la fécondation chez le Ginkgo biloba. Ann Sci nat Bot 8 13: 305–318Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Favre-Duchartre M (1950) Contribution à 1’ étude de la fécondation et du development syncytial du proembryon chez Ginkgo biloba. CR Acad Sci Paris 230: 569–570Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Shimamura T (1931) A note on the mitotic division in the proembryo of Ginkgo, with special reference to chromatin elimination (in Japanese). Bot Mag Tokyo 45: 525–530Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Shimamura T (1928) On the formation of proembryo of Ginkgo biloba L. Bot Mag Tokyo 42: 71–76Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Herzfeld S (1928) Über die Kernteilungen im Proembryo von Ginkgo biloba. Jahrb Wiss Bot 69: 264–294Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Soma S (1991) Numbers of nuclei and the nuclear location in the proembryo of Ginkgo biloba (in Japanese with English summary). Ann Rep Fac Educ Bunkyo Univ 25: 126–137Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Lyon HL (1904) The embryogeny of Ginkgo. Minn Bot Stud 3: 275 - 290Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Bierhorst DW (1971) Morphology of vascular plants. Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Sugihara (1992) Embryogeny of Gymnosperms (in Japanese). University of Tokyo Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Wang F, Chen Z (1983) A contribution to the embryology of Ginkgo with a discussion on the affinity of the Ginkgoales (in Chinese with English abstract). Acta Bot Sin 25: 199–207Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Arnoldi W (1903) Beiträge zur Morphologie der Gymnospermen. 6. Ueber den Bau der Zellkerne im Embryo von Ginkgo biloba. 7. Die Embryobildung bei Ginkgo biloba (in Russian with German abstract). Ann Inst Agron et Forest à Nowo-Alexandria 16: 117–139Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Ball E (1954) Experiments on the embryo of Ginkgo biloba. 8th Cong Intern Bot Paris Rap et Comm Sect 8: 265–267Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Wigglesworth G (1903) The cotyledons of Ginkgo biloba and Cycas revoluta. Ann Bot 17: 789–791Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Soma S (1995) Hypocotyl and Epicotyl in Ginkgo biloba, with special reference to the bilobed cotyledon (in Japanese). Ann Rep Educ Bunkyo Univ 29: 52–56Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Cook MT (1902) Polyembryony in Ginkgo. Bot Gaz 34: 64–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Cook MT (1903) Polyembryony in Ginkgo. Bot Gaz 36: 142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Bulard C (1952) Culture aseptique d’embryons de Ginkgo biloba: Rôle des cotylédons dans l’absorption du et la croissance de la tige. CR Acad Sci Paris 255: 739–741Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Hills TG, Fraine E de (1909) On the seedling structure of Gymnosperms 3. Ginkgoaceae. Ann Bot 23: 433–458Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Li TT (1934) The development of embryo of Ginkgo biloba. Sci Rep Natl Tsing Hua Univ Ser B. 2: 29–35Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Eames AJ (1955) The seed and Ginkgo. J Arn Arb 36: 165–170Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Del Tredici P (1991) Ginkgo and people—a thousand years of interaction. Arnoldia 51: 2–15Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanae Soma
    • 1
  1. 1.Bunkyo UniversityKoshigaya, Saitama 343Japan

Personalised recommendations