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Efficient preparation of Arabidopsis pollen tubes for ultrastructural analysis using chemical and cryo-fixation


Ndinyanka Fabrice, Tohnyui; Kaech, Andres; Barmettler, Gery; Eichenberger, Christof; Knox, J Paul; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Ringli, Christoph (2017). Efficient preparation of Arabidopsis pollen tubes for ultrastructural analysis using chemical and cryo-fixation. BMC Plant Biology, 17:176.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The pollen tube (PT) serves as a model system for investigating plant cell growth and morphogenesis. Ultrastructural studies are indispensable to complement data from physiological and genetic analyses, yet an effective method is lacking for PTs of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
METHODS: Here, we present reliable approaches for ultrastructural studies of Arabidopsis PTs, as well as an efficient technique for immunogold detection of cell wall epitopes. Using different fixation and embedding strategies, we show the amount of PT ultrastructural details that can be obtained by the different methods.
RESULTS: Dozens of cross-sections can be obtained simultaneously by the approach, which facilitates and shortens the time for evaluation. In addition to in vitro-grown PTs, our study follows the route of PTs from germination, growth along the pistil, to the penetration of the dense stylar tissue, which requires considerable mechanical forces. To this end, PTs have different strategies from growing between cells but also between the protoplast and the cell wall and even within each other, where they share a partly common cell wall. The separation of PT cell walls in an outer and an inner layer reported for many plant species is less clear in Arabidopsis PTs, where these cell wall substructures are connected by a distinct transition zone.
CONCLUSIONS: The major advancement of this method is the effective production of a large number of longitudinal and cross-sections that permits obtaining a detailed and representative picture of pollen tube structures in an unprecedented way. This is particularly important when comparing PTs of wild type and mutants to identify even subtle alterations in cytoarchitecture. Arabidopsis is an excellent plant for genetic manipulation, yet the PTs, several-times smaller compared to tobacco or lily, represent a technical challenge. This study reveals a method to overcome this problem and make Arabidopsis PTs more amenable to a combination of genetic and ultrastructural analyses.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The pollen tube (PT) serves as a model system for investigating plant cell growth and morphogenesis. Ultrastructural studies are indispensable to complement data from physiological and genetic analyses, yet an effective method is lacking for PTs of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
METHODS: Here, we present reliable approaches for ultrastructural studies of Arabidopsis PTs, as well as an efficient technique for immunogold detection of cell wall epitopes. Using different fixation and embedding strategies, we show the amount of PT ultrastructural details that can be obtained by the different methods.
RESULTS: Dozens of cross-sections can be obtained simultaneously by the approach, which facilitates and shortens the time for evaluation. In addition to in vitro-grown PTs, our study follows the route of PTs from germination, growth along the pistil, to the penetration of the dense stylar tissue, which requires considerable mechanical forces. To this end, PTs have different strategies from growing between cells but also between the protoplast and the cell wall and even within each other, where they share a partly common cell wall. The separation of PT cell walls in an outer and an inner layer reported for many plant species is less clear in Arabidopsis PTs, where these cell wall substructures are connected by a distinct transition zone.
CONCLUSIONS: The major advancement of this method is the effective production of a large number of longitudinal and cross-sections that permits obtaining a detailed and representative picture of pollen tube structures in an unprecedented way. This is particularly important when comparing PTs of wild type and mutants to identify even subtle alterations in cytoarchitecture. Arabidopsis is an excellent plant for genetic manipulation, yet the PTs, several-times smaller compared to tobacco or lily, represent a technical challenge. This study reveals a method to overcome this problem and make Arabidopsis PTs more amenable to a combination of genetic and ultrastructural analyses.

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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)
Language:English
Date:27 October 2017
Deposited On:04 Jan 2018 17:37
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:58
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2229
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-017-1136-x
PubMed ID:29078752

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