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Curr Biol. 2016 Feb 8;26(3):R125-39. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.032.

Fertilization Mechanisms in Flowering Plants.

Author information

1
Cell Biology and Plant Biochemistry, Biochemie-Zentrum Regensburg, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address: thomas.dresselhaus@ur.de.
2
Cell Biology and Plant Biochemistry, Biochemie-Zentrum Regensburg, University of Regensburg, 93040 Regensburg, Germany.
3
Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.

Abstract

Compared with the animal kingdom, fertilization is particularly complex in flowering plants (angiosperms). Sperm cells of angiosperms have lost their motility and require transportation as a passive cargo by the pollen tube cell to the egg apparatus (egg cell and accessory synergid cells). Sperm cell release from the pollen tube occurs after intensive communication between the pollen tube cell and the receptive synergid, culminating in the lysis of both interaction partners. Following release of the two sperm cells, they interact and fuse with two dimorphic female gametes (the egg and the central cell) forming the major seed components embryo and endosperm, respectively. This process is known as double fertilization. Here, we review the current understanding of the processes of sperm cell reception, gamete interaction, their pre-fertilization activation and fusion, as well as the mechanisms plants use to prevent the fusion of egg cells with multiple sperm cells. The role of Ca(2+) is highlighted in these various processes and comparisons are drawn between fertilization mechanisms in flowering plants and other eukaryotes, including mammals.

PMID:
26859271
PMCID:
PMC4934421
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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