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Pectin Methylesterase48 Is Involved in Arabidopsis Pollen Grain Germination


Abstract

Germination of pollen grains is a crucial step in plant reproduction. However, the molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. We investigated the role of PECTIN METHYLESTERASE48 (PME48), an enzyme implicated in the remodeling of pectins in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) pollen. A combination of functional genomics, gene expression, in vivo and in vitro pollen germination, immunolabeling, and biochemical analyses was used on wild-type and Atpme48 mutant plants. We showed that AtPME48 is specifically expressed in the male gametophyte and is the second most expressed PME in dry and imbibed pollen grains. Pollen grains from homozygous mutant lines displayed a significant delay in imbibition and germination in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, numerous pollen grains showed two tips emerging instead of one in the wild type. Immunolabeling and Fourier transform infrared analyses showed that the degree of methylesterification of the homogalacturonan was higher in pme48-/- pollen grains. In contrast, the PME activity was lower in pme48-/-, partly due to a reduction of PME48 activity revealed by zymogram. Interestingly, the wild-type phenotype was restored in pme48-/- with the optimum germination medium supplemented with 2.5 mm calcium chloride, suggesting that in the wild-type pollen, the weakly methylesterified homogalacturonan is a source of Ca(2+) necessary for pollen germination. Although pollen-specific PMEs are traditionally associated with pollen tube elongation, this study provides strong evidence that PME48 impacts the mechanical properties of the intine wall during maturation of the pollen grain, which, in turn, influences pollen grain germination.

Abstract

Germination of pollen grains is a crucial step in plant reproduction. However, the molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. We investigated the role of PECTIN METHYLESTERASE48 (PME48), an enzyme implicated in the remodeling of pectins in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) pollen. A combination of functional genomics, gene expression, in vivo and in vitro pollen germination, immunolabeling, and biochemical analyses was used on wild-type and Atpme48 mutant plants. We showed that AtPME48 is specifically expressed in the male gametophyte and is the second most expressed PME in dry and imbibed pollen grains. Pollen grains from homozygous mutant lines displayed a significant delay in imbibition and germination in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, numerous pollen grains showed two tips emerging instead of one in the wild type. Immunolabeling and Fourier transform infrared analyses showed that the degree of methylesterification of the homogalacturonan was higher in pme48-/- pollen grains. In contrast, the PME activity was lower in pme48-/-, partly due to a reduction of PME48 activity revealed by zymogram. Interestingly, the wild-type phenotype was restored in pme48-/- with the optimum germination medium supplemented with 2.5 mm calcium chloride, suggesting that in the wild-type pollen, the weakly methylesterified homogalacturonan is a source of Ca(2+) necessary for pollen germination. Although pollen-specific PMEs are traditionally associated with pollen tube elongation, this study provides strong evidence that PME48 impacts the mechanical properties of the intine wall during maturation of the pollen grain, which, in turn, influences pollen grain germination.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Germination; Arabidopsis, Enzymology, Arabidopsis Proteins, Growth, Developmentd Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases, Metabolism, Pollen
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:18 Feb 2016 21:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:03
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists
ISSN:0032-0889
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.114.250928
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:Primo_Central:TN_medline25524442 (Library Catalogue)
PubMed ID:25524442

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