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:6/21/2016)... June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today ... role of principal product architect and that ... of customer development. Both will report directly to ... The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its ... high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Market size is expected to reach USD ... report by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation ... and banking applications are expected to drive the ... ) , The development of ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of ... make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision ... million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ... and to advance its drug development efforts, as well ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner ... a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS ... developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem ... with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers ...
Breaking Biology Technology: