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Egg cell-secreted EC1 triggers sperm cell activation during double fertilization


Sprunck, Stefanie; Rademacher, Svenja; Vogler, Frank; Gheyselinck, Jacqueline; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Dresselhaus, Thomas (2012). Egg cell-secreted EC1 triggers sperm cell activation during double fertilization. Science, 338(6110):1093-1097.

Abstract

Double fertilization is the defining characteristic of flowering plants. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the fusion of one sperm with the egg and the second sperm with the central cell are largely unknown. We show that gamete interactions in Arabidopsis depend on small cysteine-rich EC1 (EGG CELL 1) proteins accumulating in storage vesicles of the egg cell. Upon sperm arrival, EC1-containing vesicles are exocytosed. The sperm endomembrane system responds to exogenously applied EC1 peptides by redistributing the potential gamete fusogen HAP2/GCS1 (HAPLESS 2/GENERATIVE CELL SPECIFIC 1) to the cell surface. Furthermore, fertilization studies with ec1 quintuple mutants show that successful male-female gamete interactions are necessary to prevent multiple-sperm cell delivery. Our findings provide evidence that mutual gamete activation, regulated exocytosis, and sperm plasma membrane modifications govern flowering plant gamete interactions.

Abstract

Double fertilization is the defining characteristic of flowering plants. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the fusion of one sperm with the egg and the second sperm with the central cell are largely unknown. We show that gamete interactions in Arabidopsis depend on small cysteine-rich EC1 (EGG CELL 1) proteins accumulating in storage vesicles of the egg cell. Upon sperm arrival, EC1-containing vesicles are exocytosed. The sperm endomembrane system responds to exogenously applied EC1 peptides by redistributing the potential gamete fusogen HAP2/GCS1 (HAPLESS 2/GENERATIVE CELL SPECIFIC 1) to the cell surface. Furthermore, fertilization studies with ec1 quintuple mutants show that successful male-female gamete interactions are necessary to prevent multiple-sperm cell delivery. Our findings provide evidence that mutual gamete activation, regulated exocytosis, and sperm plasma membrane modifications govern flowering plant gamete interactions.

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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
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 15:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:32
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:0036-8075
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1223944
PubMed ID:23180860

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