Navigation Links
The secret love life of plants

A large portion of plant seeds is endosperm. It has the important task of nourishing the plant embryo during the early stages of its development. In flowering plants, there is a complicated double-fertilisation mechanism that arises among embryos and endosperm.

They develop together into mature seeds. The exact process, and the communication between the two parts of the seeds, has been unclear to scientists. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research and the University of Cologne have, however, isolated a mutant where there is only one single fertilisation. In a recent online edition of the journal Nature Genetics (November 28, 2005) they explain that this single fertilisation, which creates an embryo, also triggers the development of endosperm, even when the central cell where endosperm develops is not fertilised.The ovules of flowering plants are housed in a carpel. Pollen lands on the flower's stigma and forms a pollen tube. It then uses each one of its two sperm cells to fertilise the egg cell, from which the embryo hatches, and the central cell, where the endosperm grows. This double fertilisation is what is special to all flowering plants.

Scientists in Cologne, working with Arp Schnittger, have found a mutant of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana called cdc2. It has an altered pollen. Because of a failed cell division, the cdc2-plants develop pollen that has only one sperm cell instead of two. The researchers have now been exploring the question if whether, under these conditions, fertilisation is possible at all. It turned out that the mutated pollen can survive and even grow into a female partner. Once it has arrived there, the single sperm cell of the cdc2 pollen merges only with the egg cell and not with the central cell. This shows a hierarchy, never before discovered, in the fertilisation process of Arabidopsis.

The scientists made another astounding observation: although the central cell remained unfertilise d, it began to develop endosperm. The researchers deduced that shortly after the egg cell was fertilised, a positive signal was sent out to its environment, which appears to be necessary for normal growth of an endosperm. Because the double fertilisation process can be genetically dissected, the existence of this mutant offers new possibilities to learn about the development of endosperm and the embryo in seeds. In the next few months, the researchers hope above all to find out how exactly the signal functions and what chemical reactions are behind it.

"Explaining the mechanism behind double fertilisation in flowering plants and early seed development is particularly interesting in the context of plant breeding," says Arp Schnittger, "because reproduction without fertilisation would be advantageous for many different kinds of breeding."


'"/>

Source:Max-Planck-Gesellschaft


Related biology news :

1. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
2. UWs Rosetta software to unlock secrets of many human proteins
3. The secret to longevity in tubeworms
4. The secret lives of whales
5. Scientists reveal molecular secrets of the malaria parasite
6. Scientists journey to southern Africa to unravel the secret world of elephant communication
7. Marine sponge yields nanoscale secrets
8. Climatologists discover deep-sea secret
9. Researchers reveal secrets of flying snakes
10. Researchers reveal secret of key protein in brain and heart function
11. Study: Well-known protein helps stem cells become secretory cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision ... Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete ... MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions ... of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- First quarter 2016:   , Revenues ... first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% ... and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per ... from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook ... 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or ... its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and ... based venture capital funds which together hold ... a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they have ... entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the leading software as a service ... Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both audio and video telemedicine communication ... , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can schedule a face to face ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: