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J Integr Plant Biol. 2016 Jul;58(7):679-92. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12459. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

AtTMEM18 plays important roles in pollen tube and vegetative growth in Arabidopsis.

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Beijing Radiation Center, 12 Haidian Nanlu, Beijing 100875, China.
State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, 2 Yuanmingyuan Xilu, Beijing 100193, China.


In flowering plants, pollen tube growth is essential for delivery of male gametes into the female gametophyte or embryo sac for double fertilization. Although many genes have been identified as being involved in the process, the molecular mechanisms of pollen tube growth remains poorly understood. In this study, we identified that the Arabidopsis Transmembrane Protein 18 (AtTMEM18) gene played important roles in pollen tube growth. The AtTMEM18 shares a high similarity with the Transmembrane 18 proteins (TMEM18s) that are conserved in most eukaryotes and may play important roles in obesity in humans. Mutation in the AtTMEM18 by a Ds insertion caused abnormal callose deposition in the pollen grains and had a significant impact on pollen germination and pollen tube growth. AtTMEM18 is expressed in pollen grains, pollen tubes, root tips and other vegetative tissues. The pollen-rescued assays showed that the mutation in AtTMEM18 also caused defects in roots, stems, leaves and transmitting tracts. AtTMEM18-GFP was located around the nuclei. Genetic assays demonstrated that the localization of AtTMEM18 around the nuclei in the generative cells of pollen grains was essential for the male fertility. Furthermore, expression of the rice TMEM18-homologous protein (OsTMEM18) driven by LAT52 promoter could recover the fertility of the Arabidopsis attmem18 mutant. These results suggested that the TMEM18 is important for plant growth in Arabidopsis.


Arabidopsis; TMEM18; male gametophyte; plant; pollen; transmembrane protein

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