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J Cell Sci. 1985 Jun;76:247-54.

Nifedipine-sensitive calcium channels are involved in polar growth of lily pollen tubes.


Pollen germination and tube growth of Lilium longiflorum in vitro are affected by 10(-5) M-nifedipine. Germinating 'tubes' form broad protuberances along the whole colpus. Short tubes show a high tendency to grow 'amoeboid-like' and to branch; or a second tube emerges in another region of the colpus. Longer tubes (greater than or equal to 100 micron) broaden irregularly or swell at their tips. The diameter of the tube can vary drastically within the same tube. With increasing time of treatment many tubes burst. Normal tip growth stops within 10 min, but protoplasmic streaming continues even after 15 h. More or less regularly, wall thickenings are formed along the whole tube or on the flanks of the germinating region after some hours. The internal calcium gradient, visualized by chlorotetracycline (CTC) fluorescence, is also disturbed. Nifedipine treatment results in uniform or irregular CTC fluorescence. Branching tubes temporarily show a new subapical CTC gradient. After 6-8 h of nifedipine treatment many cells are no longer stainable with CTC. The results indicate the presence of nifedipine-sensitive calcium channels in pollen tubes.

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