Navigation Links
Female plant 'communicates' rejection or acceptance of male
Date:10/23/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. Without eyes or ears, plants must rely on the interaction of molecules to determine appropriate mating partners and avoid inbreeding. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers have identified pollen proteins that may contribute to the signaling processes that determine if a plant accepts or rejects individual pollen grains for reproduction.

Like humans, the mating game isn't always easy for plants. Plants rely on external factors such as wind and animals to bring them potential mates in the form of pollen grains. When pollen grains arrive, an introduction occurs through a "conversation" between the pollen (the male part of the flower) and the pistil (the female part of the flower). In this conversation, molecules take the place of words and allow the pollen to identify itself to the pistil. Listening in on this molecular conversation may provide ways to control the spread of transgenes from genetically-modified crops to wild relatives, offer better ways to control fertilization between cross species, and lead to a more efficient way of growing fruit trees.

"Unlike an animal's visual cues about mate selection, a plant's mate recognition takes place on a molecular level," said Bruce McClure, associate director of the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center and researcher in the MU Interdisciplinary Plant Group and Division of Biochemistry. "The pollen must, in some way, announce to the pistil its identity, and the pistil must interpret this identity. To do this, proteins from the pollen and proteins from the pistil interact; this determines the acceptance or rejection of individual pollen grains."

In the study, researchers used two specific pistil proteins, NaTTS and 120K, as "bait" to see what pollen proteins would bind to them. These two pistil proteins were used because they directly influence the growth of pollen down the pistil to the ovary where fertilization takes place.

Three proteins, S-RNase-binding protein (SBP1), the protein NaPCCP and an enzyme, bound to the pistil proteins. This action suggests that these proteins likely contribute to the signaling processes that affect the success of pollen growth.

"Our experiment was like putting one side of a Velcro strip on two pistil proteins and then screening a collection of pollen proteins to see which of the pollen proteins have the complementary Velcro strip for binding," McClure said. "If it sticks, it's a good indication that the pollen proteins work with the pistil proteins to determine the success of reproduction."

In previous studies, McClure showed that S-RNase, a protein on the pistil side, caused rejection of pollen from close relatives by acting as a cytotoxin, or a toxic substance, in the pollen tube.

For their study, the MU team used Nicotiana alata, a relative of tobacco commonly grown in home gardens as "flowering tobacco." The study, "Pollen Proteins Bind to the C-Terminal Domain of Nicotiana Alata Pistil Arabinogalactan Proteins," was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and was co-authored by McClure; Kirby N. Swatek, biochemistry graduate student; and Christopher B. Lee, post-doctoral researcher at the Bond Life Sciences Center.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sex is thirst-quenching for female beetles
2. UT Southwestern researchers identify hundreds of genes controlling female fertility
3. Why do males and females frequently differ in body size and structure?
4. X-effect: female chromosome confirmed a prime driver of speciation
5. Vaginal reconstruction not needed for most inter-sex females, Hopkins study shows
6. Gene in male fish lures females into sex
7. New evidence for female control in reproduction
8. Men unaware of their cancer risk when female relatives test positive for BRCA mutation
9. How do you know whether you are male or female?
10. Female katydids prefer mates cool in winter and hot in summer
11. Female concave-eared frogs draw mates with ultrasonic calls
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT ... North America , today announced a ... the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition ... of tools to transform population health activities through the ... data. higi collects and secures data today ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... N.Y. , March 27, 2017  Catholic ... Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for ... EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS ... of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record ... for its high level of EMR usage in ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global ... industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering ... being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its 4th ... in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office bearers, ... and government officials from around the world to address key issues in device compliance, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... August compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in ... contribution of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, ... his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells ... and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human ...
Breaking Biology Technology: