Immunodetection of some pectic, arabinogalactan proteins and hemicellulose epitopes in the micropylar transmitting tissue of apomictic dandelions (Taraxacum, Asteraceae, Lactuceae).
ABSTRACT: In apomictic Taraxacum species, the development of both the embryo and the endosperm does not require double fertilisation. However, a structural reduction of ovular transmitting tissue was not observed in apomictic dandelions. The aim of this study was to analyse the chemical composition of the cell walls to describe the presence of arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs), hemicellulose and some pectic epitopes in the micropylar transmitting tissue of apomictic Taraxacum. The results point to (1) the similar distribution of AGPs in different developmental stages, (2) the absence of highly methyl-esterified homogalacturonan (HG) in transmitting tissue of ovule containing a mature embryo sac and the appearance of this pectin domain in the young seed containing the embryo and endosperm, (3) the similar pattern of low methyl-esterified pectin occurrence in both an ovule and a young seed with an embryo and endosperm in apomictic Taraxacum and (4) the presence of hemicelluloses recognised by LM25 and LM21 antibodies in the reproductive structure of Taraxacum.
Project description:Somatic embryogenesis is a reliable system for in vitro plant regeneration, with biotechnological applications in trees, but the regulating mechanisms are largely unknown. Changes in cell wall mechanics controlled by methylesterification of pectins, mediated by pectin methylesterases (PMEs) and pectin methyl esterase inhibitors (PMEIs) underlie many developmental processes. Arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) are highly glycosylated proteins located at the surface of plasma membranes, in cell walls, and in extracellular secretions, with key roles in a range of different processes. In this study, we have investigated changes in two cell wall components, pectins and AGPs, during somatic embryogenesis in Quercus suber, a forest tree of high economic and ecologic value. At early embryogenesis stages, cells of proembryogenic masses showed high levels of esterified pectins and expression of QsPME and QsPMEI genes encoding a PME and a putative PMEI, respectively. At advanced stages, differentiating cells of heart, torpedo and cotyledonary embryos exhibited walls rich in de-esterified pectins, while QsPME gene expression and PME activity progressively increased. AGPs were detected in cell walls of proembryogenic masses and somatic embryos. QsLys-rich-AGP18, QsLys-rich-AGP17, and QsAGP16L1 gene expression increased with embryogenesis progression, as did the level of total AGPs, detected by dot blot with ?-glucosyl Yariv reagent. Immuno dot blot, immunofluorescence assays and confocal analysis using monoclonal antibodies to high- (JIM7, LM20) and low- (JIM5, LM19) methylesterified pectins, and to certain AGP epitopes (LM6, LM2) showed changes in the amount and distribution pattern of esterified/de-esterified pectins and AGP epitopes, that were associated with proliferation and differentiation and correlated with expression of the PME and AGP genes analyzed. Pharmacological treatments with catechin, an inhibitor of PME activity, and Yariv reagent, which blocks AGPs, impaired the progression of embryogenesis, with pectin de-esterification and an increase in AGP levels being necessary for embryo development. Findings indicate a role for pectins and AGPs during somatic embryogenesis of cork oak, promoting the cell wall remodeling during the process. They also provide new insights into the regulating mechanisms of somatic embryogenesis in woody species, for which information is still scarce, opening up new possibilities to improve in vitro embryo production in tree breeding.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Cell wall pectins and arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) are important for pollen tube growth. The aim of this work was to study the temporal and spatial dynamics of these compounds in olive pollen during germination.<h4>Methods</h4>Immunoblot profiling analyses combined with confocal and transmission electron microscopy immunocytochemical detection techniques were carried out using four anti-pectin (JIM7, JIM5, LM5 and LM6) and two anti-AGP (JIM13 and JIM14) monoclonal antibodies.<h4>Key results</h4>Pectin and AGP levels increased during olive pollen in vitro germination. (1 ? 4)-?-d-Galactans localized in the cytoplasm of the vegetative cell, the pollen wall and the apertural intine. After the pollen tube emerged, galactans localized in the pollen tube wall, particularly at the tip, and formed a collar-like structure around the germinative aperture. (1 ? 5)-?-l-Arabinans were mainly present in the pollen tube cell wall, forming characteristic ring-shaped deposits at regular intervals in the sub-apical zone. As expected, the pollen tube wall was rich in highly esterified pectic compounds at the apex, while the cell wall mainly contained de-esterified pectins in the shank. The wall of the generative cell was specifically labelled with arabinans, highly methyl-esterified homogalacturonans and JIM13 epitopes. In addition, the extracellular material that coated the outer exine layer was rich in arabinans, de-esterified pectins and JIM13 epitopes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Pectins and AGPs are newly synthesized in the pollen tube during pollen germination. The synthesis and secretion of these compounds are temporally and spatially regulated. Galactans might provide mechanical stability to the pollen tube, reinforcing those regions that are particularly sensitive to tension stress (the pollen tube-pollen grain joint site) and mechanical damage (the tip). Arabinans and AGPs might be important in recognition and adhesion phenomena of the pollen tube and the stylar transmitting cells, as well as the egg and sperm cells.
Project description:Apomixis in Hieracium subgenus Pilosella initiates in ovules when sporophytic cells termed aposporous initial (AI) cells enlarge near sexual cells undergoing meiosis. AI cells displace the sexual structures and divide by mitosis to form unreduced embryo sac(s) without meiosis (apomeiosis) that initiate fertilization-independent embryo and endosperm development. In some Hieracium subgenus Pilosella species, these events are controlled by the dominant LOSS OF APOMEIOSIS (LOA) and LOSS OF PARTHENOGENESIS (LOP) loci. In H. praealtum and H. piloselloides, which both contain the same core LOA locus, the timing and frequency of AI cell formation is altered in derived mutants exhibiting abnormal funiculus growth and in transgenic plants expressing rolB which alters cellular sensitivity to auxin. The impact on apomictic and sexual reproduction was examined here when a chimeric RNAse gene was targeted to the funiculus and basal portions of the ovule, and also when polar auxin transport was inhibited during ovule development following N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) application. Both treatments led to ovule deformity in the funiculus and distal parts of the ovule and LOA-dependent alterations in the timing, position, and frequency of AI cell formation. In the case of NPA treatment, this correlated with increased expression of DR5:GFP in the ovule, which marks the accumulation of the plant hormone auxin. Our results show that sporophytic information potentiated by funiculus growth and polar auxin transport influences ovule development, the initiation of apomixis, and the progression of embryo sac development in Hieracium. Signals associated with ovule pattern formation and auxin distribution or perception may influence the capacity of sporophytic ovule cells to respond to LOA.
Project description:The main aim of this study was to compare the cytological difference between ovular mucilage cells in two Asteraceae species-<i>Pilosella officinarum</i> and <i>Taraxacum officinale</i>-in order to determine whether pectic epitopes, arabinogalactan proteins, or extensins are present. The immunocytochemical technique was used. Both the <i>Taracacum</i> and <i>Pilosella</i> genera have been used recently as models for understanding the mechanisms of apomixis. Knowledge of the presence of signal molecules (pectic epitopes, arabinogalactan proteins, and extensins) can help better understand the developmental processes in these plants during seed growth. The results showed that in <i>Pilosella officinarum</i>, there was an accumulation of pectins in the mucilage, including both weakly and highly esterified pectins, which was in contrast to the mucilage of <i>Taraxacum officinale</i>, which had low amounts of these pectins. However, <i>Taraxacum</i> protoplasts of mucilage cells were rich in weakly methyl-esterified pectins. While the mucilage contained arabinogalactan proteins in both of the studied species, the types of arabinogalactan proteins were different. In both of the studied species, extensins were recorded in the transmitting tissues. Arabinogalactan proteins as well as weakly and highly esterified pectins and extensins occurred in close proximity to calcium oxalate crystals in both <i>Taraxacum</i> and <i>Pilosella</i> cells.
Project description:Aposporous apomictic plants form clonal maternal seeds by inducing the emergence of non-reduced (2n) embryo sacs in the ovule nucellus and the development of embryos by parthenogenesis. In previous work, we reported a plant-specific TRIMETHYLGUANOSINE SYNTHASE 1 (TGS1) gene (PN_TGS1-like) showing expression levels positively correlated with sexuality rates in facultative apomictic Paspalum notatum. PN_ TGS1-like displayed contrasting in situ hybridization patterns in apomictic and sexual plant ovules from premeiosis to anthesis. Here we transformed sexual P. notatum with a TGS1-like antisense construction under a constitutive promoter, in order to produce lines with reduced transcript representation. Antisense plants developed prominent trichomes on the adaxial leaf surface, a trait absent from control genotypes. Reproductive development analysis revealed occasional formation of twin ovules. While control individuals typically displayed a single meiotic embryo sac per ovule, antisense lines showed 12.93-15.79% of ovules bearing extra nuclei, which can be assigned to aposporous-like embryo sacs (AES-like) or, alternatively, to gametophytes with a misguided cell fate development. Moreover, around 8.42-9.52% of ovules showed what looked like a combination of meiotic and aposporous-like sacs. Besides, 32.5% of ovules at early developmental stages displayed nucellar cells with prominent nuclei resembling apospory initials (AIs), which surrounded the megaspore mother cell (MMC) or the MMC-derived meiotic products. Two or more concurrent meiosis events were never detected, which suggest a non-reduced nature for the extra nuclei observed in the mature ovules, unless they were generated by proliferation and misguided differentiation of the legitimate meiotic products. The antisense lines produced a similar amount of viable even-sized pollen with respect to control genotypes, and formed an equivalent full seed set (?9% of total seeds) after self-pollination. Flow cytometry analyses of caryopses derived from antisense lines revealed that all full seeds had originated from meiotic embryo sacs (i.e. by sexuality). A reduction of 25.55% in the germination percentage was detected when comparing antisense lines with controls. Our results indicate that PN_ TGS1-like influences ovule, gametophyte and possibly embryo development.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Apomixis in plants generates clonal progeny with a maternal genotype through asexual seed formation. Hieracium subgenus Pilosella (Asteraceae) contains polyploid, highly heterozygous apomictic and sexual species. Within apomictic Hieracium, dominant genetic loci independently regulate the qualitative developmental components of apomixis. In H. praealtum, LOSS OF APOMEIOSIS (LOA) enables formation of embryo sacs without meiosis and LOSS OF PARTHENOGENESIS (LOP) enables fertilization-independent seed formation. A locus required for fertilization-independent endosperm formation (AutE) has been identified in H. piloselloides. Additional quantitative loci appear to influence the penetrance of the qualitative loci, although the controlling genes remain unknown. This study aimed to develop the first genetic linkage maps for sexual and apomictic Hieracium species using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers derived from expressed transcripts within the developing ovaries.<h4>Methods</h4>RNA from microdissected Hieracium ovule cell types and ovaries was sequenced and SSRs were identified. Two different F1 mapping populations were created to overcome difficulties associated with genome complexity and asexual reproduction. SSR markers were analysed within each mapping population to generate draft linkage maps for apomictic and sexual Hieracium species.<h4>Key results</h4>A collection of 14?684 Hieracium expressed SSR markers were developed and linkage maps were constructed for Hieracium species using a subset of the SSR markers. Both the LOA and LOP loci were successfully assigned to linkage groups; however, AutE could not be mapped using the current populations. Comparisons with lettuce (Lactuca sativa) revealed partial macrosynteny between the two Asteraceae species.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A collection of SSR markers and draft linkage maps were developed for two apomictic and one sexual Hieracium species. These maps will support cloning of controlling genes at LOA and LOP loci in Hieracium and should also assist with identification of quantitative loci that affect the expressivity of apomixis. Future work will focus on mapping AutE using alternative populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Apomixis, asexual seed production in plants, holds great potential for agriculture as a means to fix hybrid vigor. Apospory is a form of apomixis where the embryo develops from an unreduced egg that is derived from a somatic nucellar cell, the aposporous initial, via mitosis. Understanding the molecular mechanism regulating aposporous initial specification will be a critical step toward elucidation of apomixis and also provide insight into developmental regulation and downstream signaling that results in apomixis. To discover candidate transcripts for regulating aposporous initial specification in P. squamulatum, we compared two transcriptomes derived from microdissected ovules at the stage of aposporous initial formation between the apomictic donor parent, P. squamulatum (accession PS26), and an apomictic derived backcross 8 (BC8) line containing only the Apospory-Specific Genomic Region (ASGR)-carrier chromosome from P. squamulatum. Toward this end, two transcriptomes derived from ovules of an apomictic donor parent and its apomictic backcross derivative at the stage of apospory initiation, were sequenced using 454-FLX technology. RESULTS: Using 454-FLX technology, we generated 332,567 reads with an average read length of 147 base pairs (bp) for the PS26 ovule transcriptome library and 363,637 reads with an average read length of 142 bp for the BC8 ovule transcriptome library. A total of 33,977 contigs from the PS26 ovule transcriptome library and 26,576 contigs from the BC8 ovule transcriptome library were assembled using the Multifunctional Inertial Reference Assembly program. Using stringent in silico parameters, 61 transcripts were predicted to map to the ASGR-carrier chromosome, of which 49 transcripts were verified as ASGR-carrier chromosome specific. One of the alien expressed genes could be assigned as tightly linked to the ASGR by screening of apomictic and sexual F1s. Only one transcript, which did not map to the ASGR, showed expression primarily in reproductive tissue. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that a strategy of comparative sequencing of transcriptomes between donor parent and backcross lines containing an alien chromosome of interest can be an efficient method of identifying transcripts derived from an alien chromosome in a chromosome addition line.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Genetically unreduced (2n) embryo sacs (ES) form in ovules of gametophytic apomicts, the 2n eggs of which develop into embryos parthenogenetically. In many apomicts, 2n ES form precociously during ovule development. Whether meiosis and sexual ES formation also occur precociously in facultative apomicts (capable of apomictic and sexual reproduction) has not been studied. We determined onset timing of meiosis and sexual ES formation for 569 Sorghum bicolor genotypes, many of which produced 2n ES facultatively. RESULTS: Genotype differences for onset timing of meiosis and sexual ES formation, relative to ovule development, were highly significant. A major source of variation in timing of sexual germline development was presence or absence of apomictic ES, which formed from nucellar cells (apospory) in some genotypes. Genotypes that produced these aposporous ES underwent meiosis and sexual ES formation precociously. Aposporous ES formation was most prevalent in subsp. verticilliflorum and in breeding lines of subsp. bicolor. It was uncommon in land races. CONCLUSIONS: The present study adds meiosis and sexual ES formation to floral induction, apomictic ES formation, and parthenogenesis as processes observed to occur precociously in apomictic plants. The temporally diverse nature of these events suggests that an epigenetic memory of the plants' apomixis status exists throughout its life cycle, which triggers, during multiple life cycle phases, temporally distinct processes that accelerate reproduction.
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:Apomixis (asexual seed formation) in angiosperms occurs either sporophytically, through adventitious embryony, or gametophytically, where an unreduced female gametophyte (embryo sac) forms and produces an unreduced egg that develops into an embryo parthenogenetically. Multiple types of gametophytic apomixis occur, and these are differentiated based on where and when the unreduced gametophyte forms, a process referred to as apomeiosis. Apomeiotic gametophytes form directly from ameiotic megasporocytes, as in Antennaria-type diplospory, from unreduced spores derived from 1st division meiotic restitutions, as in Taraxacum-type diplospory, or from cells of the ovule wall, as in Hieracium-type apospory. Multiple types of apomeiosis occasionally occur in the same plant, which suggests that the different types occur in response to temporal and/or spatial shifts in termination of sexual processes and onset timing of apomeiosis processes. To better understand the origins and evolutionary implications of apomixis in Boechera (Brassicaceae), we determined apomeiosis type for 64 accessions representing 44 taxonomic units. Plants expressing apospory and diplospory were equally common, and these generally produced reduced and unreduced pollen, respectively. Apospory and diplospory occurred simultaneously in individual plants of seven taxa. In Boechera, apomixis perpetuates otherwise sterile or semisterile interspecific hybrids (allodiploids) through multiple generations. Accordingly, ample time, in these multigenerational clones, is available for rare meioses to produce haploid, intergenomically recombined male and female gametes. The fusion of such gametes could then produce segmentally autoploidized progeny. If sex re-emerges among such progeny, then new and genomically unique sexual species could evolve. Herein, we present evidence that such apomixis-facilitated speciation is occurring in Boechera, and we hypothesize that it might also be occurring in facultatively apomictic allodiploids of other angiospermous taxa.