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Development. 2018 Jan 8;145(1). pii: dev152645. doi: 10.1242/dev.152645.

Pollen differentiation as well as pollen tube guidance and discharge are independent of the presence of gametes.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Mechanisms of Phenotypic Plasticity, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du CNRS, IBMP-CNRS - UPR2357, Université de Strasbourg, 12 Rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, France.
2
Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway.
3
University of Hamburg, Biozentrum Klein Flottbek, Department of Developmental Biology, 22609 Hamburg, Germany.
4
Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM), Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601, Japan.
5
JST ERATO Higashiyama Live-Holonics Project, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8602, Japan.
6
Department of Molecular Mechanisms of Phenotypic Plasticity, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du CNRS, IBMP-CNRS - UPR2357, Université de Strasbourg, 12 Rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, France arp.schnittger@uni-hamburg.de.

Abstract

After meiosis, an unequal cell division generates the male gamete lineage in flowering plants. The generative cell will undergo a second division, giving rise to the two gametes, i.e. the sperm cells. The other cell will develop into the vegetative cell that plays a crucial role in pollen tube formation and sperm delivery. Recently, the vegetative cell has been suggested to be important for programming of the chromatin state in sperm cells and/or the resulting fertilization products. Blocking the initial unequal division genetically, we first highlight that the default differentiation state after male meiosis is a vegetative fate, which is consistent with earlier work. We find that uni-nucleated mutant microspores differentiated as wild-type vegetative cells, including chromatin remodeling and the transcriptional activation of transposable elements. Moreover, live-cell imaging revealed that this vegetative cell is sufficient for the correct guidance of the pollen tube to the female gametes. Hence, we conclude that vegetative cell differentiation and function does not depend on the formation or presence of the actual gametes but rather on external signals or a cell-autonomous pace keeper.

KEYWORDS:

Arabidopsis; Chromatin; Fertilization; Gametophyte; Transposons

PMID:
29217755
PMCID:
PMC5825867
DOI:
10.1242/dev.152645
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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