Evidence for naturally occurring programmed cell death in Marchantia polymorpha tuberculate rhizoids as a function of age is described. Membrane degradation and DNA fragmentation, two major events that occur during programmed cell death, are detected and quantified using Trypan Blue staining and the TUNEL Assay. Membrane permeability and DNA fragmentation both increase as the tuberculate rhizoids aged. Spermine suppressed this response; hydrogen peroxide accelerated it. This research has advanced the study of PCD by demonstrating that nutrient recycling of the thallus and tuberculate rhizoids of Marchantia polymorpha are interrelated.
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Vol. 116 • No. 2