Members of the palm family (Arecaceae), like most other monocotyledons, have a unique organ, the haustorium, which functions during germination and seedling establishment. It is the distal portion of the cotyledon which remains within the seed and grows in conjunction with endosperm degradation. This project (with a structural emphasis) employing a multidisciplinary approach is proposed to elucidate the function of the haustorium and the interaction between the haustorium and endosperm tissue. Structural and functional aspects of the interaction of the haustorium and endosperm tissue in the palm family will be conducted by 1) studying seed structure and developmental changes accompanying germination in the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), 2) observing phosphate uptake and development of haustorial phosphate granules and their structural characteristics using chemical and physical fixation conditions and 3) using enzyme assays and techniques of localization on sections to determine the location and controls of hydrolase production. The plants Dr. De Mason is working with are economically and scientifically important and little understood. These studies will lead to a better basic understanding of the processes that occur during germination of palm seeds and the role of the haustorium in germination.