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

Nase-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.


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

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