The peroxin loss-of-function mutation abstinence by mutual consent disrupts male-female gametophyte recognition.
ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, fertilization relies on complex and specialized mechanisms that achieve the precise delivery of the male gamete to the female gamete and their subsequent union [1-4]. In flowering plants, the haploid male gametophyte or pollen tube (PT)  carries two nonmotile sperm cells to the female gametophyte (FG) or embryo sac  during a long assisted journey through the maternal tissues [7-10]. In Arabidopsis, typically one PT reaches one of the two synergids of the FG (Figure 1A), where it terminates its growth and delivers the sperm cells, a poorly understood process called pollen-tube reception. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of the Arabidopsis mutant abstinence by mutual consent (amc). Interestingly, pollen-tube reception is impaired only when an amc pollen tube reaches an amc female gametophyte, resulting in pollen-tube overgrowth and completely preventing sperm discharge and the development of homozygous mutants. Moreover, we show that AMC is strongly and transiently expressed in both male and female gametophytes during fertilization and that AMC functions in gametophytes as a peroxin essential for protein import into peroxisomes. These findings show that peroxisomes play an unexpected key role in gametophyte recognition and implicate a diffusible signal emanating from either gametophyte that is required for pollen-tube discharge.
Project description:The precise delivery of male to female gametes during reproduction in eukaryotes requires complex signal exchanges and a flawless communication between male and female tissues. In angiosperms, molecular mechanisms have recently been revealed that are crucial for the dialog between male (pollen tube) and female gametophytes required for successful sperm delivery. When pollen tubes reach the female gametophyte, they arrest growth, burst and discharge their sperm cells. These processes are under the control of the female gametophyte via the receptor-like serine-threonine kinase (RLK) FERONIA (FER). However, the male signaling components that control the sperm delivery remain elusive. Here, we show that ANXUR1 and ANXUR2 (ANX1, ANX2), which encode the closest homologs of the FER-RLK in Arabidopsis, are preferentially expressed in pollen. Moreover, ANX1-YFP and ANX2-YFP fusion proteins display polar localization to the plasma membrane at the tip of the pollen tube. Finally, genetic analyses demonstrate that ANX1 and ANX2 function redundantly to control the timing of pollen tube discharge as anx1 anx2 double-mutant pollen tubes cease their growth and burst in vitro and fail to reach the female gametophytes in vivo. We propose that ANX-RLKs constitutively inhibit pollen tube rupture and sperm discharge at the tip of growing pollen tubes to sustain their growth within maternal tissues until they reach the female gametophytes. Upon arrival, the female FER-dependent signaling cascade is activated to mediate pollen tube reception and fertilization, while male ANX-dependent signaling is deactivated, enabling the pollen tube to rupture and deliver its sperm cells to effect fertilization.
Project description:In Trimenia moorei, an extant member of the ancient angiosperm clade Austrobaileyales, we found a remarkable pattern of female gametophyte (egg-producing structure) development that strikingly resembles that of pollen tubes and their intrasexual competition within the maternal pollen tube transmitting tissues of most flowers. In contrast with most other flowering plants, in Trimenia, multiple female gametophytes are initiated at the base (chalazal end) of each ovule. Female gametophytes grow from their tips and compete over hundreds of micrometers to reach the apex of the nucellus and the site of fertilization. Here, the successful female gametophyte will mate with a pollen tube to produce an embryo and an endosperm. Moreover, the central tissue within the ovules of Trimenia, through which the embryo sacs grow, contains starch and other carbohydrates similar to the pollen tube transmitting tissues in the styles of most flowers. The pattern of female gametophyte development found in Trimenia is rare but by no means unique in angiosperms. Importantly, it seems that multiple female gametophytes are occasionally or frequently initiated in members of other ancient angiosperm lineages. The intensification of pollen tube (male gametophyte) competition and enhanced maternal selection among competing pollen tubes are considered to have been major contributors to the rise of angiosperms. Based on insights from Trimenia, we posit that prefertilization female gametophyte (egg) competition within individual ovules in addition to male gametophyte (sperm) competition and maternal mate choice may have been key features of the earliest angiosperms.
Project description:Pollen tube (PT) reception in flowering plants describes the crosstalk between the male and female gametophytes upon PT arrival at the synergid cells of the ovule. It leads to PT growth arrest, rupture, and sperm cell release, and is thus essential to ensure double fertilization. Here, we describe TURAN (TUN) and EVAN (EVN), two novel members of the PT reception pathway that is mediated by the FERONIA (FER) receptor-like kinase (RLK). Like fer, mutations in these two genes lead to PT overgrowth inside the female gametophyte (FG) without PT rupture. Mapping by next-generation sequencing, cytological analysis of reporter genes, and biochemical assays of glycoproteins in RNAi knockdown mutants revealed both genes to be involved in protein N-glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). TUN encodes a uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glycosyltransferase superfamily protein and EVN a dolichol kinase. In addition to their common role during PT reception in the synergids, both genes have distinct functions in the pollen: whereas EVN is essential for pollen development, TUN is required for PT growth and integrity by affecting the stability of the pollen-specific FER homologs ANXUR1 (ANX1) and ANX2. ANX1- and ANX2-YFP reporters are not expressed in tun pollen grains, but ANX1-YFP is degraded via the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway, likely underlying the anx1/2-like premature PT rupture phenotype of tun mutants. Thus, as in animal sperm-egg interactions, protein glycosylation is essential for the interaction between the female and male gametophytes during PT reception to ensure fertilization and successful reproduction.
Project description:Communication between the gametophytes is vital for angiosperm fertilisation. Multiple CrRLK1L-type receptor kinases prevent premature pollen tube burst, while another CrRLK1L protein, FERONIA (FER), is required for pollen tube reception in the female gametophyte. We report here the identification of two additional CrRLK1L homologues, HERCULES RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (HERK1) and ANJEA (ANJ), which act redundantly to promote pollen tube growth arrest at the synergid cells. HERK1 and ANJ localise to the filiform apparatus of the synergid cells in unfertilised ovules, and in herk1 anj mutants, a majority of ovules remain unfertilised due to pollen tube overgrowth, together indicating that HERK1 and ANJ act as female determinants for fertilisation. As in fer mutants, the synergid cell-specific, endomembrane protein NORTIA (NTA) is not relocalised after pollen tube reception; however, unlike fer mutants, reactive oxygen species levels are unaffected in herk1 anj double mutants. Both ANJ and HERK1 associate with FER and its proposed co-receptor LORELEI (LRE) in planta. Together, our data indicate that HERK1 and ANJ act with FER to mediate female-male gametophyte interactions during plant fertilisation.
Project description:Communication between the gametophytes is vital for angiosperm fertilisation. Multiple CrRLK1L-type receptor kinases prevent premature pollen tube burst, while another CrRLK1L protein, FERONIA (FER), is required for pollen tube reception in the female gametophyte. We report here the identification of two additional CrRLK1L homologues, HERCULES RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (HERK1) and ANJEA (ANJ), which act redundantly to promote pollen tube growth arrest at the synergid cells. HERK1 and ANJ localise to the filiform apparatus of the synergid cells in unfertilised ovules, and in herk1 anj mutants a majority of ovules remain unfertilised due to pollen tube overgrowth, together indicating that HERK1 and ANJ act as female determinants for fertilisation. As in fer mutants, the synergid cell-specific, endomembrane protein NORTIA (NTA) is not relocalised after pollen tube reception; however, unlike fer mutants, reactive oxygen species levels are unaffected in herk1 anj double mutants. Both ANJ and HERK1 associate with FER and its proposed co-receptor LORELEI (LRE) in planta. Together, our data indicate that HERK1 and ANJ act with FER to mediate female-male gametophyte interactions during plant fertilisation.
Project description:Species-specific gamete recognition is a key premise to ensure reproductive success and the maintenance of species boundaries. During plant pollen tube (PT) reception, gametophyte interactions likely allow the species-specific recognition of signals from the PT (male gametophyte) by the embryo sac (female gametophyte), resulting in PT rupture, sperm release, and double fertilization. This process is impaired in interspecific crosses between Arabidopsis thaliana and related species, leading to PT overgrowth and a failure to deliver the sperm cells. Here we show that ARTUMES (ARU) specifically regulates the recognition of interspecific PTs in A. thaliana. ARU, identified in a genome-wide association study (GWAS), exclusively influences interspecific--but not intraspecific--gametophyte interactions. ARU encodes the OST3/6 subunit of the oligosaccharyltransferase complex conferring protein N-glycosylation. Our results suggest that glycosylation patterns of cell surface proteins may represent an important mechanism of gametophyte recognition and thus speciation.
Project description:Double fertilization in angiosperms involves several successive steps, including guidance and reception of the pollen tube and male-female gamete recognition. Each step entails extensive communication and interaction between two different reproductive cell or tissue types. Extensive research has focused on the pollen tube, namely, its interaction with the stigma and reception by maternal cells. Little is known, however, about the mechanism by which the gametes recognize each other and interact to form a zygote. We report that an ankyrin repeat protein (ANK6) is essential for fertilization, specifically for gamete recognition. ANK6 (At5g61230) was highly expressed in the male and female gametophytes before and during but not after fertilization. Genetic analysis of a T-DNA insertional mutant suggested that loss of function of ANK6 results in embryonic lethality. Moreover, male-female gamete recognition was found to be impaired only when an ank6 male gamete reached an ank6 female gamete, thereby preventing formation of homozygous zygotes. ANK6 was localized to the mitochondria, where it interacted with SIG5, a transcription initiation factor previously found to be essential for fertility. These results show that ANK6 plays a central role in male-female gamete recognition, possibly by regulating mitochondrial gene expression.
Project description:In flowering plants, immotile sperm cells develop within the pollen grain and are delivered to female gametes by a pollen tube. Upon arrival at the female gametophyte, the pollen tube stops growing and releases sperm cells for successful fertilization. Several female signaling components essential for pollen tube reception have been identified; however, male components remain unknown. We show that the expression of three closely related MYB transcription factors is induced in pollen tubes by growth in the pistil. Pollen tubes lacking these three transcriptional regulators fail to stop growing in synergids, specialized cells flanking the egg cell that attract pollen tubes and degenerate upon pollen tube arrival. myb triple-mutant pollen tubes also fail to release their sperm cargo. We define a suite of pollen tube-expressed genes regulated by these critical MYBs and identify transporters, carbohydrate-active enzymes, and small peptides as candidate molecular mediators of pollen tube-female interactions necessary for flowering plant reproduction. Our data indicate that de novo transcription in the pollen tube nucleus during growth in the pistil leads to pollen tube differentiation required for release of sperm cells.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are toxic by-products of aerobic metabolism. In plants, they also function as important signaling molecules that regulate biotic and abiotic stress responses as well as plant growth and development. Recent studies have implicated ROS in various aspects of plant reproduction. In male gametophytes, ROS are associated with germline development as well as the developmentally associated programmed cell death of tapetal cells necessary for microspore development. ROS have a role in regulation of female gametophyte patterning and maintenance of embryo sac polarity. During pollination, ROS play roles in the generation of self-incompatibility response during pollen-pistil interaction, pollen tube growth, pollen tube burst for sperm release and fertilization. In this mini review, we provide an overview of ROS production and signaling in the context of plant reproductive development, from female and male gametophyte development to fertilization.
Project description:In double fertilization, the vegetative cell of the male gametophyte (pollen) germinates and forms a pollen tube that brings to the female gametophyte two sperm cells that fertilize the egg and central cell to form the embryo and endosperm, respectively. The 5-methylcytosine DNA glycosylase DEMETER (DME), expressed in the central cell, is required for maternal allele demethylation and gene imprinting in the endosperm. By contrast, little is known about the function of DME in the male gametophyte. Here we show that reduced transmission of the paternal mutant dme allele in certain ecotypes reflects, at least in part, defective pollen germination. DME RNA is detected in pollen, but not in isolated sperm cells, suggesting that DME is expressed in the vegetative cell. Bisulfite sequencing experiments show that imprinted genes (MEA and FWA) and a repetitive element (Mu1a) are hypomethylated in the vegetative cell genome compared with the sperm genome, which is a process that requires DME. Moreover, we show that MEA and FWA RNA are detectable in pollen, but not in isolated sperm cells, suggesting that their expression occurs primarily in the vegetative cell. These results suggest that DME is active and demethylates similar genes and transposons in the genomes of the vegetative and central cells in the male and female gametophytes, respectively. Although the genome of the vegetative cell does not participate in double fertilization, its DME-mediated demethylation is important for male fertility and may contribute to the reconfiguration of the methylation landscape that occurs in the vegetative cell genome.