In Vitro Grown Pollen Tubes of Nicotiana alata Actively Synthesise a Fucosylated Xyloglucan Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Nicotiana alata pollen tubes are a widely used model for studies of polarized tip growth and cell wall synthesis in plants. To better understand these processes, RNA-Seq and de novo assembly methods were used to produce a transcriptome of N. alata pollen grains. Notable in the reconstructed transcriptome were sequences encoding proteins that are involved in the synthesis and remodelling of xyloglucan, a cell wall polysaccharide previously not thought to be deposited in Nicotiana pollen tube walls. Expression of several xyloglucan-related genes in actively growing pollen tubes was confirmed and xyloglucan epitopes were detected in the wall with carbohydrate-specific antibodies: the major xyloglucan oligosaccharides found in N. alata pollen grains and tubes were fucosylated, an unusual structure for the Solanaceae, the family to which Nicotiana belongs. Finally, carbohydrate linkages consistent with xyloglucan were identified chemically in the walls of N. alata pollen grains and pollen tubes grown in culture. The presence of a fucosylated xyloglucan in Nicotiana pollen tube walls was thus confirmed. The consequences of this discovery to models of pollen tube growth dynamics and more generally to polarised tip-growing cells in plants are discussed.

authors

  • Lampugnani, Edwin R
  • Moller, Isabel E
  • Cassin, Andrew
  • Jones, Daniel F
  • Koh, Poh Ling
  • Ratnayake, Sunil
  • Beahan, Cherie T
  • Wilson, Sarah M
  • Bacic, Antony
  • Newbigin, Ed

publication date

  • October 8, 2013