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Cell. 1995 Aug 11;82(3):395-403.

A pollen tube growth stimulatory glycoprotein is deglycosylated by pollen tubes and displays a glycosylation gradient in the flower.

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Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8104, USA.


In plant sexual reproduction, pollen tubes elongate from the stigma, through the stylar transmitting tissue, to the ovary of the pistil to deliver the male gametes for fertilization. TTS protein is a tobacco transmitting tissue glycoprotein shown to attract pollen tubes and promote their growth. Here, we show TTS proteins adhere to the pollen tube surface and tips, suggesting that they may serve as adhesive substrates for pollen tube growth. TTS proteins are also incorporated into pollen tube walls and are deglycosylated by pollen tubes, suggesting that they may provide nutrients to this process. Within the transmitting tissue, TTS proteins display a gradient of increasing glycosylation from the stigmatic end to the ovarian end of the style, coincident with the direction of pollen tube growth. These results together suggest that the TTS protein-bound sugar gradient may contribute to guiding pollen tubes from the stigma to the ovary.

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