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Curr Biol. 2013 Jun 3;23(11):993-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.043. Epub 2013 May 16.

Membrane-bound RLCKs LIP1 and LIP2 are essential male factors controlling male-female attraction in Arabidopsis.

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State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


Successful sexual reproduction in animals and plants requires communication between male and female gametes. In flowering plants, unlike in animals, eggs and sperm cells are enclosed in multicellular embryo sacs and pollen grains, respectively; guided growth of the pollen tube into the ovule is necessary for fertilization. Pollen tube guidance requires accurate perception of ovule-emitted guidance cues by the receptors in pollen tubes. Although several ovule-secreted peptides controlling pollen tube guidance have recently been identified, i.e., maize EGG APPARATUS1 (EA1), Torenia LURE1/LURE2, and Arabidopsis CRP810_1/AtLURE1, little is known about the receptors. Here, we identified two receptor-like kinase (RLK) genes preferentially expressed in Arabidopsis pollen tubes, Lost In Pollen tube guidance 1 (LIP1) and 2 (LIP2), which are involved in guidance control of pollen tubes. LIP1 and LIP2 were anchored to the membrane in the pollen tube tip region via palmitoylation, which was essential for their guidance control. Simultaneous inactivation of LIP1 and LIP2 led to impaired pollen tube guidance into micropyle and significantly reduced attraction of pollen tubes toward AtLURE1. Our results suggest that LIP1 and LIP2 represent essential components of the pollen tube receptor complex to perceive the female signal AtLURE1 for micropylar pollen tube guidance.

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