Loss of the Arabidopsis thaliana P?-ATPase ALA3 reduces adaptability to temperature stresses and impairs vegetative, pollen, and ovule development.
ABSTRACT: Members of the P4 subfamily of P-type ATPases are thought to help create asymmetry in lipid bilayers by flipping specific lipids between the leaflets of a membrane. This asymmetry is believed to be central to the formation of vesicles in the secretory and endocytic pathways. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a P4-ATPase associated with the trans-Golgi network (ALA3) was previously reported to be important for vegetative growth and reproductive success. Here we show that multiple phenotypes for ala3 knockouts are sensitive to growth conditions. For example, ala3 rosette size was observed to be dependent upon both temperature and soil, and varied between 40% and 80% that of wild-type under different conditions. We also demonstrate that ala3 mutants have reduced fecundity resulting from a combination of decreased ovule production and pollen tube growth defects. In-vitro pollen tube growth assays showed that ala3 pollen germinated ?2 h slower than wild-type and had approximately 2-fold reductions in both maximal growth rate and overall length. In genetic crosses under conditions of hot days and cold nights, pollen fitness was reduced by at least 90-fold; from ?18% transmission efficiency (unstressed) to less than 0.2% (stressed). Together, these results support a model in which ALA3 functions to modify endomembranes in multiple cell types, enabling structural changes, or signaling functions that are critical in plants for normal development and adaptation to varied growth environments.
Project description:RabA4 subfamily proteins, the key regulators of intracellular transport, are vital for tip growth of plant polar cells, but their unique distribution in the apical zone and role in vesicle targeting and trafficking in the tips remain poorly understood. Here, we found that loss of Arabidopsis (<i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>) AMINOPHOSPHOLIPID ATPASE 3 (ALA3) function resulted in a marked decrease in YFP-RabA4b/ RFP-RabA4d- and FM4-64-labeled vesicles from the inverted-cone zone of the pollen tube tip, misdistribution of certain intramembrane compartment markers, and an obvious increase in pollen tube width. Additionally, we revealed that phosphatidylserine (PS) was abundant in the inverted-cone zone of the apical pollen tube in wild-type Arabidopsis and was mainly colocalized with the trans-Golgi network/early endosome, certain post-Golgi compartments, and the plasma membrane. Loss of ALA3 function resulted in loss of polar localization of apical PS and significantly decreased PS distribution, suggesting that ALA3 is a key regulator for establishing and maintaining the polar localization of apical PS in pollen tubes. We further demonstrated that certain Rab GTPases colocalized with PS in vivo and bound to PS in vitro. Moreover, ALA3 and RabA4d collectively regulated pollen tube growth genetically. Thus, we propose that the tip-localized PS established by ALA3 is crucial for Rab GTPase-mediated vesicle targeting/trafficking and polar growth of pollen tubes in Arabidopsis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Pollen tubes deliver sperm after navigating through flower tissues in response to attractive and repulsive cues. Genetic analyses in maize and Arabidopsis thaliana and cell ablation studies in Torenia fournieri have shown that the female gametophyte (the 7-celled haploid embryo sac within an ovule) and surrounding diploid tissues are essential for guiding pollen tubes to ovules. The variety and inaccessibility of these cells and tissues has made it challenging to characterize the sources of guidance signals and the dynamic responses they elicit in the pollen tubes.<h4>Results</h4>Here we developed an in vitro assay to study pollen tube guidance to excised A. thaliana ovules. Using this assay we discerned the temporal and spatial regulation and species-specificity of late stage guidance signals and characterized the dynamics of pollen tube responses. We established that unfertilized A. thaliana ovules emit diffusible, developmentally regulated, species-specific attractants, and demonstrated that ovules penetrated by pollen tubes rapidly release diffusible pollen tube repellents.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These results demonstrate that in vitro pollen tube guidance to excised A. thaliana ovules efficiently recapitulates much of in vivo pollen tube behaviour during the final stages of pollen tube growth. This assay will aid in confirming the roles of candidate guidance molecules, exploring the phenotypes of A. thaliana pollen tube guidance mutants and characterizing interspecies pollination interactions.
Project description:In angiosperms, pollen tubes carry two sperm cells toward the egg and central cells to complete double fertilization. In animals, not only sperm but also seminal plasma is required for proper fertilization. However, little is known regarding the function of pollen tube content (PTC), which is analogous to seminal plasma. We report that the PTC plays a vital role in the prefertilization state and causes an enlargement of ovules without fertilization. We termed this phenomenon as pollen tube-dependent ovule enlargement morphology and placed it between pollen tube guidance and double fertilization. Additionally, PTC increases endosperm nuclei without fertilization when combined with autonomous endosperm mutants. This finding could be applied in agriculture, particularly in enhancing seed formation without fertilization in important crops.
Project description:Tubulin genes are intimately associated with cell division and cell elongation, which are central to plant secondary cell wall development. However, their roles in pollen tube polar growth remain elusive. Here, a TUA1 gene from Picea wilsonii, which is specifically expressed in pollen, was isolated. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that the amount of PwTUA1 transcript varied at each stage of growth of the pollen tube and was induced by calcium ions and boron. Transient expression analysis in P. wilsonii pollen indicated that PwTUA1 improved pollen germination and pollen tube growth. The pollen of transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing PwTUA1 also showed a higher percentage of germination and faster growth than wild-type plants not only in optimal germination medium, but also in medium supplemented with elevated levels of exogenous calcium ions or boron. Immunofluorescence and electron microscopy showed alpha-tubulin to be enriched and more vesicles accumulated in the apex region in germinating transgenic Arabidopsis pollen compared with wild-type plants. These results demonstrate that PwTUA1 up-regulated by calcium ions and boron contributes to pollen tube elongation by altering the distribution of alpha-tubulin and regulating the deposition of pollen cell wall components during the process of tube growth. The possible role of PwTUA1 in microtubule dynamics and organization was discussed.
Project description:In double fertilization, a reproductive system unique to flowering plants, two immotile sperm are delivered to an ovule by a pollen tube. One sperm fuses with the egg to generate a zygote, the other with the central cell to produce endosperm. A mechanism preventing multiple pollen tubes from entering an ovule would ensure that only two sperm are delivered to female gametes. We use live-cell imaging and a novel mixed-pollination assay that can detect multiple pollen tubes and multiple sets of sperm within a single ovule to show that Arabidopsis efficiently prevents multiple pollen tubes from entering an ovule. However, when gamete-fusion defective hap2(gcs1) or duo1 sperm are delivered to ovules, as many as three additional pollen tubes are attracted. When gamete fusion fails, one of two pollen tube-attracting synergid cells persists, enabling the ovule to attract more pollen tubes for successful fertilization. This mechanism prevents the delivery of more than one pair of sperm to an ovule, provides a means of salvaging fertilization in ovules that have received defective sperm, and ensures maximum reproductive success by distributing pollen tubes to all ovules.
Project description:Members of the P4 subfamily of P-type ATPases are thought to create and maintain lipid asymmetry in biological membranes by flipping specific lipids between membrane leaflets. In Arabidopsis, 7 of the 12 Aminophospholipid ATPase (ALA) family members are expressed in pollen. Here we show that double knockout of ALA6 and ALA7 (ala6/7) results in siliques with a ~2-fold reduction in seed set with a high frequency of empty seed positions near the bottom. Seed set was reduced to near zero when plants were grown under a hot/cold temperature stress. Reciprocal crosses indicate that the ala6/7 reproductive deficiencies are due to a defect related to pollen transmission. In-vitro growth assays provide evidence that ala6/7 pollen tubes are short and slow, with ~2-fold reductions in both maximal growth rate and overall length relative to wild-type. Outcrosses show that when ala6/7 pollen are in competition with wild-type pollen, they have a near 0% success rate in fertilizing ovules near the bottom of the pistil, consistent with ala6/7 pollen having short and slow growth defects. The ala6/7 phenotypes were rescued by the expression of either an ALA6-YFP or GFP-ALA6 fusion protein, which showed localization to both the plasma membrane and highly-mobile endomembrane structures. A mass spectrometry analysis of mature pollen grains revealed significant differences between ala6/7 and wild-type, both in the relative abundance of lipid classes and in the average number of double bonds present in acyl side chains. A change in the properties of the ala6/7 plasma membrane was also indicated by a ~10-fold reduction of labeling by lipophilic FM-dyes relative to wild-type. Together, these results indicate that ALA6 and ALA7 provide redundant activities that function to directly or indirectly change the distribution and abundance of lipids in pollen, and support a model in which ALA6 and ALA7 are critical for pollen fitness under normal and temperature-stress conditions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The pollen grain contains the male gametophyte that extends a pollen tube that grows through female tissues in order to deliver sperm to the embryo sac for double fertilization. Growing pollen tubes form periodic callose plugs that are thought to block off the older parts of the tube and maintain the cytoplasm near the growing tip. The morphology of callose plugs and the patterns of their deposition were previously shown to vary among species, but variation within a species had not been examined. We therefore systematically examined callose plug deposition in Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, tested for heritability using reciprocal crosses between ecotypes that had differing deposition patterns, and investigated the relationship between callose plugs and pollen tube growth rate. We also surveyed callose plug deposition patterns in different species of tomato.<h4>Results</h4>We used in vitro grown pollen tubes of 14 different A. thaliana ecotypes and measured the distance from the pollen grain pore to the first callose plug (termed first interval). This distance varied among Arabidopsis ecotypes and in some cases even within an ecotype. Pollen tubes without a callose plug were shorter than those with a callose plug, and tubes with a callose plug near the grain were, on average, longer than those with the first callose plug farther from the grain. Variations in the first callose plug position were also observed between different species of tomato.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We showed that the position of the first callose plug varied among Arabidopsis ecotypes and in tomato species, and that callose plug deposition patterns were heritable. These findings lay a foundation for mapping genes that regulate callose plug deposition or that determine pollen tube length or growth rate.
Project description:Flowering plants have immotile sperm that develop within pollen and must be carried to female gametes by a pollen tube. The pollen tube engages in molecular interactions with several cell types within the pistil and these interactions are essential for successful fertilization. We identified a group of three closely related pollen tube-expressed MYB transcription factors (MYB97, MYB101, MYB120), which are required for proper interaction of the pollen tube with the female gametophyte. These transcription factors are transcriptionally induced during growth in the pistil. They regulate a transcriptional network leading to proper differentiation and maturation of the pollen tube, promoting proper pollen tube-ovule interactions resulting in sperm release and double fertilization. We used microarrays to discover genes regulated by the transcription factors MYB97, MYB101 and MYB120 in pollen tubes growing through the pistil at 8 hours after pollination. Pistils were collected from ms1 (Male Sterile 1) pistils that were unpollinated, or pollinated with either wild type (Col-0) pollen or myb triple mutant (myb97-1, myb101-4, myb120-3) pollen for 8 hours. We sought to examine transcriptional changes that were taking place in pollen tubes before they reached ovules in wild type pollen tubes, and what portion of this transcriptional regulation was due to MYB97, MYB101 and MYB120. Analysis of growth in the pistil allows discovery of transcriptional changes taking place during pollen tube growth in its native environment, as opposed to mature pollen or in vitro grown pollen, which are essentially naive conditions, as neither have interacted with the pistil environment and any signalling factors found therein.
Project description:Tip-focused accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is tightly associated with pollen tube growth and is thus critical for fertilization. However, it is unclear how tip-growing cells establish such specific ROS localization. Polyamines have been proposed to function in tip growth as precursors of the ROS, hydrogen peroxide. The ABC transporter AtABCG28 may regulate ROS status, as it contains multiple cysteine residues, a characteristic of proteins involved in ROS homeostasis. In this study, we found that AtABCG28 was specifically expressed in the mature pollen grains and pollen tubes. AtABCG28 was localized to secretory vesicles inside the pollen tube that moved toward and fused with the plasma membrane of the pollen tube tip. Knocking out AtABCG28 resulted in defective pollen tube growth, failure to localize polyamine and ROS to the growing pollen tube tip, and complete male sterility, whereas ectopic expression of this gene in root hair could recover ROS accumulation at the tip and improved the growth under high-pH conditions, which normally prevent ROS accumulation and tip growth. Together, these data suggest that AtABCG28 is critical for localizing polyamine and ROS at the growing tip. In addition, this function of AtABCG28 is likely to protect the pollen tube from the cytotoxicity of polyamine and contribute to the delivery of polyamine to the growing tip for incorporation into the expanding cell wall.
Project description:Pollen storage belongs among the most important activities associated with pollen handling. It overcomes the differences in pollen shedding and ovule receptivity during controlled pollination experiments. It is especially important for species like common juniper (Juniperus communis L.) with an extremely low quality of seeds due to pollination failure. Additionally, it is a substantial part of germplasm preservation programmes in pollen banks. In the present paper, the effect of short-term storage of pollen was studied using pollen samples from five shrubs in an in vitro germination test. Two temperature regimes were tested. The pollen viability of freshly collected pollen varied considerably between individual shrubs, exhibiting 67.3-88.6% germination rate and 248.0-367.3 µm of pollen tubes. Storage at + 4 °C for four months was accompanied by a profound decline in pollen viability. The germination percentage was reduced to 49.2-75.2% and the pollen tube length to 32.5-69.0%, depending on individual shrubs. The corresponding decline in pollen viability characteristics during storage at - 20 °C was only negligible in two of the tested shrubs. In the remaining three shrub samples, an increase in germination percentage was observed. Pollen tube growth responded more sensitively to freezing, but, on average, the decrease in length was lower than that at + 4 °C. The rate of reduction in pollen tube length varied between 11.5 and 45.4%. Cytological events accompanying in vitro germination of freezer-stored pollen exhibited some delay in releasing the exine from pollen grains during the early stages of germination as compared with freshly collected pollen. In conclusion, short-term storage of the common juniper pollen in a freezer is better for the preservation of its viability than storage at + 4 °C.