The female gametophyte corresponds to the embryo sac and covers an egg cell, a central cell, two synergid cells, and several antipodal cells
. Embryo sacs are sheltered inside the ovules, which are, in turn, enclosed by the ovary of the pistil (Figure 1).
The mature embryo sac is composed of 7 cells, one central cell contained polar nuclei or secondary nucleus, two synergids and one egg cell that formed egg apparatus and three antipodal cells that are degenerate in the mature embryo sac before fertilization.
Based on present embryological studies, many exceptional events were reported in the members of this family, including Nemec phenomenon (Davis, 1968; Batygina, 1987), increasing of synergids (Cichan and Palser, 1982), increasing of antipodal cells (Richards, 1997; Pandey, 2001), four-celled female gametophyte (Harling, 1951) and apomixis (Davis, 1968; Chaudhury et al., 2001).
Antipodal cells are degenerated in the studied flowers (Fig.