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1.  Sulfinylated Azadecalins act as functional mimics of a pollen germination stimulant in Arabidopsis pistils 
SUMMARY
Polarized cell elongation is triggered by small molecule cues during development of diverse organisms. During plant reproduction, pollen interactions with the stigma result in the polar outgrowth of a pollen tube, which delivers sperm cells to the female gametophyte to effect double fertilization. In many plants, pistils stimulate pollen germination. However, in Arabidopsis, the effect of pistils on pollen germination and the pistil factors that stimulate pollen germination remain poorly characterized. Here, we demonstrate that stigma, style, and ovules in Arabidopsis pistils stimulate pollen germination. We isolated an Arabidopsis pistil extract fraction that stimulates Arabidopsis pollen germination, and employed ultrahigh resolution ESI FT-ICR and MS/MS techniques to accurately determine the mass (202.126 daltons) of a compound that is specifically present in this pistil extract fraction. Using the molecular formula (C10H19NOS) and tandem mass spectral fragmentation patterns of the m/z (mass to charge ratio) 202.126 ion, we postulated chemical structures, devised protocols, synthesized N-Methanesulfinyl 1- and 2-azadecalins that are close structural mimics of the m/z 202.126 ion, and showed that they are sufficient to stimulate Arabidopsis pollen germination in vitro (30 µM stimulated ~50% germination) and elicit accession-specific response. Although N-Methanesulfinyl 2-azadecalin stimulated pollen germination in three species of Lineage I of Brassicaceae, it did not induce a germination response in Sisymbrium irio (Lineage II of Brassicaceae) and tobacco, indicating that activity of the compound is not random. Our results show that Arabidopsis pistils promote germination by producing azadecalin-like molecules to ensure rapid fertilization by the appropriate pollen.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04729.x
PMCID: PMC3225508  PMID: 21801250
Pollen; pistil; germination; stimulant; chemical biology; functional mimic
2.  Loss of LORELEI function in the pistil delays initiation but does not affect embryo development in Arabidopsis thaliana 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2010;5(11):1487-1490.
Double fertilization, uniquely observed in plants, requires successful sperm cell delivery by the pollen tube to the female gametophyte, followed by migration, recognition and fusion of the two sperm cells with two female gametic cells. The female gametophyte not only regulates these steps but also controls the subsequent initiation of seed development. Previously, we reported that loss of LORELEI, which encodes a putative glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, in the female reproductive tissues causes a delay in initiation of seed development. From these studies, however, it was unclear if embryos derived from fertilization of lre-5 gametophytes continued to lag behind wild-type during seed development. Additionally, it was not determined if the delay in initiation of seed development had any lingering effects during seed germination. Finally, it was not known if loss of LORELEI function affects seedling development given that LORELEI is expressed in eight-day-old seedlings. Here, we showed that despite a delay in initiation, lre-5/lre-5 embryos recover, becoming equivalent to the developing wild-type embryos beginning at 72 hours after pollination. Additionally, lre-5/lre-5 seed germination, and seedling and root development are indistinguishable from wild-type indicating that loss of LORELEI is tolerated, at least under standard growth conditions, in vegetative tissues.
doi:10.4161/psb.5.11.13598
PMCID: PMC3115263  PMID: 21051955
LORELEI; glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein; embryogenesis; DD45; seed germination; primary and lateral root growth; seedling development
3.  Genetic and molecular characterization of three novel S-haplotypes in sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2008;59(11):3169-3185.
Tetraploid sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) exhibits gametophytic self-incompatibility (GSI) whereby the specificity of self-pollen rejection is controlled by alleles of the stylar and pollen specificity genes, S-RNase and SFB (S haplotype-specific F-box protein gene), respectively. As sour cherry selections can be either self-compatible (SC) or self-incompatible (SI), polyploidy per se does not result in SC. Instead the genotype-dependent loss of SI in sour cherry is due to the accumulation of non-functional S-haplotypes. The presence of two or more non-functional S-haplotypes within sour cherry 2x pollen renders that pollen SC. Two new S-haplotypes from sour cherry, S33 and S34, that are presumed to be contributed by the P. fruticosa species parent, the complete S-RNase and SFB sequences of a third S-haplotype, S35, plus the presence of two previously identified sweet cherry S-haplotypes, S14 and S16 are described here. Genetic segregation data demonstrated that the S16-, S33-, S34-, and S35-haplotypes present in sour cherry are fully functional. This result is consistent with our previous finding that ‘hetero-allelic’ pollen is incompatible in sour cherry. Phylogenetic analyses of the SFB and S-RNase sequences from available Prunus species reveal that the relationships among S-haplotypes show no correspondence to known organismal relationships at any taxonomic level within Prunus, indicating that polymorphisms at the S-locus have been maintained throughout the evolution of the genus. Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationships among SFB sequences are generally incongruent with those among S-RNase sequences for the same S-haplotypes. Hypotheses compatible with these results are discussed.
doi:10.1093/jxb/ern172
PMCID: PMC2504349  PMID: 18617504
Prunus cerasus; self-incompatibility; SFB; S-RNase

Results 1-3 (3)