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Plant Reprod. 2017 Dec;30(4):171-178. doi: 10.1007/s00497-017-0311-4. Epub 2017 Nov 4.

Tracking maize pollen development by the Leaf Collar Method.

Author information

1
Cell Biology and Plant Biochemistry, Biochemie-Zentrum Regensburg, University of Regensburg, 93053, Regensburg, Germany. kevin.begcy@ur.de.
2
Cell Biology and Plant Biochemistry, Biochemie-Zentrum Regensburg, University of Regensburg, 93053, Regensburg, Germany. thomas.dresselhaus@ur.de.

Abstract

An easy and highly reproducible nondestructive method named the Leaf Collar Method is described to identify and characterize the different stages of pollen development in maize. In plants, many cellular events such as meiosis, asymmetric cell division, cell cycle regulation, cell fate determination, nucleus movement, vacuole formation, chromatin condensation and epigenetic modifications take place during pollen development. In maize, pollen development occurs in tassels that are confined within the internal stalk of the plant. Hence, identification of the different pollen developmental stages as a tool to investigate above biological processes is impossible without dissecting the entire plant. Therefore, an efficient and reproducible method is necessary to isolate homogeneous cell populations at individual stages throughout pollen development without destroying the plant. Here, we describe a method to identify the various stages of pollen development in maize. Using the Leaf Collar Method in the maize inbreed line B73, we have determined the duration of each stage from pollen mother cells before meiosis to mature tricellular pollen. Anther and tassel size as well as percentage of pollen stages were correlated with vegetative stages, which are easily recognized. The identification of stage-specific genes indicates the reproducibility of the method. In summary, we present an easy and highly reproducible nondestructive method to identify and characterize the different stages of pollen development in maize. This method now opens the way for many subsequent physiological, morphological and molecular analyses to study, for instance, transcriptomics, metabolomics, DNA methylation and chromatin patterns during normal and stressful conditions throughout pollen development in one of the economically most important grass species.

KEYWORDS:

Maize; Meiosis; Mitosis; Nondestructive method; Pollen development; Sperm cell

PMID:
29101473
PMCID:
PMC5701949
DOI:
10.1007/s00497-017-0311-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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