INP1 involvement in pollen aperture formation is evolutionarily conserved and may require species-specific partners.
ABSTRACT: Pollen wall exine is usually deposited non-uniformly on the pollen surface, with areas of low exine deposition corresponding to pollen apertures. Little is known about how apertures form, with the novel Arabidopsis INP1 (INAPERTURATE POLLEN1) protein currently being the only identified aperture factor. In developing pollen, INP1 localizes to three plasma membrane domains and underlies formation of three apertures. Although INP1 homologs are found across angiosperms, they lack strong sequence conservation. Thus, it has been unclear whether they also act as aperture factors and whether their sequence divergence contributes to interspecies differences in aperture patterns. To explore the functional conservation of INP1 homologs, we used mutant analysis in maize and tested whether homologs from several other species could function in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that the INP1 involvement in aperture formation is evolutionarily conserved, despite the significant divergence of INP1 sequences and aperture patterns, but that additional species-specific factors are likely to be required to guide INP1 and to provide information for aperture patterning. To determine the regions in INP1 necessary for its localization and function, we used fragment fusions, domain swaps, and interspecific protein chimeras. We demonstrate that the central portion of the protein is particularly important for mediating the species-specific functionality.
Project description:Pollen presents a powerful model for studying mechanisms of precise formation and deposition of extracellular structures. Deposition of the pollen wall exine leads to the generation of species-specific patterns on pollen surface. In most species, exine does not develop uniformly across the pollen surface, resulting in the formation of apertures-openings in the exine that are species-specific in number, morphology and location. A long time ago, it was proposed that number and positions of apertures might be determined by the geometry of tetrads of microspores-the precursors of pollen grains arising via meiotic cytokinesis, and by the number of last-contact points between sister microspores. We have tested this model by characterizing Arabidopsis mutants with ectopic apertures and/or abnormal geometry of meiotic products. Here we demonstrate that contact points per se do not act as aperture number determinants and that a correct geometric conformation of a tetrad is neither necessary nor sufficient to generate a correct number of apertures. A mechanism sensitive to pollen ploidy, however, is very important for aperture number and positions and for guiding the aperture factor INP1 to future aperture sites. In the mutants with ectopic apertures, the number and positions of INP1 localization sites change depending on ploidy or ploidy-related cell size and not on INP1 levels, suggesting that sites for aperture formation are specified before INP1 is brought to them.
Project description:Pollen provides an excellent system to study pattern formation at the single-cell level. Pollen surface is covered by the pollen wall exine, whose deposition is excluded from certain surface areas, the apertures, which vary between the species in their numbers, positions, and morphology. What determines aperture patterns is not understood. Arabidopsis thaliana normally develops three apertures, equally spaced along the pollen equator. However, Arabidopsis mutants whose pollen has higher ploidy and larger volume develop four or more apertures. To explore possible mechanisms responsible for aperture patterning, we developed a mathematical model based on the Gierer-Meinhardt system of equations. This model was able to recapitulate aperture patterns observed in the wild-type and higher-ploidy pollen. We then used this model to further explore geometric and kinetic factors that may influence aperture patterns and found that pollen size, as well as certain kinetic parameters, like diffusion and decay of morphogens, could play a role in formation of aperture patterns. In conjunction with mathematical modeling, we also performed a forward genetic screen in Arabidopsis and discovered two mutants with aperture patterns that had not been previously observed in this species but were predicted by our model. The macaron mutant develops a single ring-like aperture, matching the unusual ring-like pattern produced by the model. The doughnut mutant forms two pore-like apertures at the poles of the pollen grain. Further tests on these novel mutants, motivated by the modeling results, suggested the existence of an area of inhibition around apertures that prevents formation of additional apertures in their vicinity. This work demonstrates the ability of the theoretical model to help focus experimental efforts and to provide fundamental insights into an important biological process.
Project description:A hybrid metal-dielectric nano-aperture antenna is proposed for surface-enhanced fluorescence applications. The nano-apertures that formed in the composite thin film consist of silicon and gold layers. These were numerically investigated in detail. The hybrid nano-aperture shows a more uniform field distribution within the apertures and a higher antenna quantum yield than pure gold nano-apertures. The spectral features of the hybrid nano-apertures are independent of the aperture size. This shows a high enhancement effect in the near-infrared region. The nano-apertures with a dielectric gap were then demonstrated theoretically for larger enhancement effects. The hybrid nano-aperture is fully adaptable to large-scale availability and reproducible fabrication. The hybrid antenna will improve the effectiveness of surface-enhanced fluorescence for applications, including sensitive biosensing and fluorescence analysis.
Project description:The specialized multilayered pollen wall plays multiple roles to ensure normal microspore development. The major components of the pollen wall (e.g. sporopollenin and lipidic precursors) are provided from the tapetum. Material export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is mediated by coat protein complex II (COPII) vesicles. The Arabidopsis thaliana genome encodes seven homologs of SEC23, a COPII component. However, the functional importance of this diversity remains elusive. Here, we analyzed knockout and knockdown lines for AtSEC23A and AtSEC23D, two of the A. thaliana SEC23 homologs, respectively. Single atsec23a and atsec23d mutant plants, despite normal fertility, showed an impaired exine pattern. Double atsec23ad mutant plants were semi-sterile and exhibited developmental defects in pollen and tapetal cells. Pollen grains of atsec23ad had defective exine and intine, and showed signs of cell degeneration. Moreover, the development of tapetal cells was altered, with structural abnormalities in organelles. AtSEC23A and AtSEC23D exhibited the characteristic localization pattern of COPII proteins and were highly expressed in the tapetum. Our work suggests that AtSEC23A and AtSEC23D may organize pollen wall development and exine patterning by regulating ER export of lipids and proteins necessary for pollen wall formation. Also, our results shed light on the functional heterogeneity of SEC23 homologs.
Project description:The behaviour of light transmitted through an individual subwavelength aperture becomes counterintuitive in the presence of surrounding 'decoration', a phenomenon known as the extraordinary optical transmission. Despite being polarization-sensitive, such an individual nano-aperture, however, often cannot differentiate between the two distinct spin-states of photons because of the loss of photon information on light-aperture interaction. This creates a 'blind-spot' for the aperture with respect to the helicity of chiral light. Here we report the development of a subwavelength aperture embedded with metasurfaces dubbed a 'meta-aperture', which breaks this spin degeneracy. By exploiting the phase-shaping capabilities of metasurfaces, we are able to create specific meta-apertures in which the pair of circularly polarized light spin-states produces opposite transmission spectra over a broad spectral range. The concept incorporating metasurfaces with nano-apertures provides a venue for exploring new physics on spin-aperture interaction and potentially has a broad range of applications in spin-optoelectronics and chiral sensing.
Project description:A novel design is described for an aperture that blocks a half-plane of the electron diffraction pattern out to a desired scattering angle, and then--except for a narrow support beam--transmits all of the scattered electrons beyond that angle. Our proposed tulip-shaped design is thus a hybrid between the single-sideband (ssb) aperture, which blocks a full half-plane of the diffraction pattern, and the conventional (i.e. fully open) double-sideband (dsb) aperture. The benefits of this hybrid design include the fact that such an aperture allows one to obtain high-contrast images of weak-phase objects with the objective lens set to Scherzer defocus. We further demonstrate that such apertures can be fabricated from thin-foil materials by milling with a focused ion beam (FIB), and that such apertures are fully compatible with the requirements of imaging out to a resolution of at least 0.34nm. As is known from earlier work with single-sideband apertures, however, the edge of such an aperture can introduce unwanted, electrostatic phase shifts due to charging. The principal requirement for using such an aperture in a routine data-collection mode is thus to discover appropriate materials, protocols for fabrication and processing and conditions of use such that the hybrid aperture remains free of charging over long periods of time.
Project description:The perceived direction of a moving line changes, often markedly, when viewed through an aperture. Although several explanations of this remarkable effect have been proposed, these accounts typically focus on the percepts elicited by a particular type of aperture and offer no biological rationale. Here, we test the hypothesis that to contend with the inherently ambiguous nature of motion stimuli the perceived direction of objects moving behind apertures of different shapes is determined by a wholly empirical strategy of visual processing. An analysis of moving line stimuli generated by objects projected through apertures shows that the directions of motion subjects report in psychophysical testing is accounted for by the frequency of occurrence of the 2D directions of stimuli generated by simulated 3D sources. The completeness of these predictions supports the conclusion that the direction of perceived motion is fully determined by accumulated behavioral experience with sources whose physical motions cannot be conveyed by image sequences as such.
Project description:Apertures obtained during volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) planning can be small and irregular, resulting in dosimetric inaccuracies during delivery. Our purpose is to develop and integrate an aperture-regularization objective function into the optimization process for VMAT, and to quantify the impact of using this objective function on dose delivery accuracy and optimized dose distributions.An aperture-based metric ("edge penalty") was developed that penalizes complex aperture shapes based on the ratio of MLC side edge length and aperture area. To assess the utility of the metric, VMAT plans were created for example paraspinal, brain, and liver SBRT cases with and without incorporating the edge penalty in the cost function. To investigate the dose calculation accuracy, Gafchromic EBT2 film was used to measure the 15 highest weighted apertures individually and as a composite from each of two paraspinal plans: one with and one without the edge penalty applied. Films were analyzed using a triple-channel nonuniformity correction and measurements were compared directly to calculations.Apertures generated with the edge penalty were larger, more regularly shaped and required up to 30% fewer monitor units than those created without the edge penalty. Dose volume histogram analysis showed that the changes in doses to targets, organs at risk, and normal tissues were negligible. Edge penalty apertures that were measured with film for the paraspinal plan showed a notable decrease in the number of pixels disagreeing with calculation by more than 10%. For a 5% dose passing criterion, the number of pixels passing in the composite dose distributions for the non-edge penalty and edge penalty plans were 52% and 96%, respectively. Employing gamma with 3% dose/1 mm distance criteria resulted in a 79.5% (without penalty)/95.4% (with penalty) pass rate for the two plans. Gradient compensation of 3%/1 mm resulted in 83.3%/96.2% pass rates.The use of the edge penalty during optimization has the potential to markedly improve dose delivery accuracy for VMAT plans while still maintaining high quality optimized dose distributions. The penalty regularizes aperture shape and improves delivery efficiency.
Project description:The pollen morphology of Pelargonium endlicherianum Fenzl. and Pelargonium quercetorum Agnew. from the family Geraniaceae was examined under light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Pollen morphologies are eurypalynous. The pollen grains were tricolporate, prolate-spheroidal and large. Aperture was ectoaperture, colpus was short, and the pores were oblate-spheroidal and large. The exine ornamentations were striate-reticulate and the reticula were heterobrachate. The 2 species are invasive exotics in Turkey.
Project description:Buckling of soft matter is ubiquitous in nature and has attracted increasing interest recently. This paper studies the retractile behaviors of a spherical shell perforated by sophisticated apertures, attributed to the buckling-induced large deformation. The buckling patterns observed in experiments were reproduced in computational modeling by imposing velocity-controlled loads and eigenmode-affine geometric imperfection. It was found that the buckling behaviors were topologically sensitive with respect to the shape of dimple (aperture). The shell with rounded-square apertures had the maximal volume retraction ratio as well as the lowest energy consumption. An effective experimental procedure was established and the simulation results were validated in this study.