Actin polymerization is essential for pollen tube growth.
Actin microfilaments, which are prominent in pollen tubes, have been implicated in the growth process; however, their mechanism of action is not well understood. In the present work we have used profilin and DNAse I injections, as well as latrunculin B and cytochalasin D treatments, under quantitatively controlled conditions, to perturb actin microfilament structure and assembly in an attempt to answer this question. We found that a approximately 50% increase in the total profilin pool was necessary to half-maximally inhibit pollen tube growth, whereas a approximately 100% increase was necessary for half-maximal inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming. DNAse I showed a similar inhibitory activity but with a threefold more pronounced effect on growth than streaming. Latrunculin B, at only 1--4 nM in the growth medium, has a similar proportion of inhibition of growth over streaming to that of profilin. The fact that tip growth is more sensitive than streaming to the inhibitory substances and that there is no correlation between streaming and growth rates suggests that tip growth requires actin assembly in a process independent of cytoplasmic streaming. (+info)
Metschnikowia koreensis sp. nov., a novel yeast species isolated from flowers in Korea.
A novel ascomycetous yeast was isolated from flowers of Lilium sp. and Ipomoea sp. in Korea. The name Metschnikowia koreensis sp. nov. (type strain SG99-34T = CBS 8854T = KCTC 7998T) is proposed for this novel species based on comparative sequence analyses of the D1/D2 domain of 26S rDNA and phenotypic characteristics. (+info)
Dynamics of the apical vesicle accumulation and the rate of growth are related in individual pollen tubes.
Regulated secretory vesicle delivery, vesicle fusion and rapid membrane recycling are all contentious issues with respect to tip growth in plant, fungal and animal cells. To examine the organisation and dynamics of membrane movements at the growing pollen tube apex and address the question of their relationship to growth, we have used the membrane stain FM4-64 both as a structural marker and as a quantitative assay. Labelling of living Lilium Longiflorum pollen tubes by FM4-64 resulted in a distinct staining pattern in the tube apex, which corresponds spatially to the previously identified cone-shaped 'apical clear zone' containing secretory vesicles. Dye uptake could be inhibited by sodium azide and followed a strict temporal sequence from the plasma membrane to a population of small (1-2 microm diameter) discrete internal structures, with subsequent appearance of dye in the apical region and ultimately in vacuolar membranes. Washout of the dye rapidly removed the plasma membrane staining, which was followed by a gradual decline in the apical fluorescence over more than an hour. Injected aqueous FM4-64 solution showed a relatively even distribution within the pollen tube. Association of FM4-64 with apical secretory vesicles was supported by the effects of the inhibitors Brefeldin-A and Cytochalasin-D, which are known to affect the localisation and number of such vesicles, on the FM4-64 staining pattern. Examination of the dynamics of FM4-64 labelling in the pollen tube tip by time-lapse observation, supported by fluorescence-recovery-after-photobleaching (FRAP) analysis, suggested the possibility of distinct pathways of bulk membrane movement both towards and, significantly, away from the apex. Quantitative analysis of FM4-64 distribution in the apex revealed that fluctuations in fluorescence 5 to 10 microm subapically, and to a lesser extent the apical 3 microm, could be related to the periodic oscillation in pollen tube growth rate. This data reveals a quantitative relationship between FM4-64 staining and growth rate within an individual tube. (+info)
First patch, then catch: measuring the activity and the mRNA transcripts of a proton pump in individual Lilium pollen protoplasts.
Combining the patch-clamp method with single-cell reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (scRT-PCR) a fusicoccin-induced current reflecting the activity of the plasma membrane H(+) ATPase of lily pollen protoplasts was measured and subsequently, the ATPase-encoding mRNAs were collected and amplified. Southern blot signals were observed in all 'patch-catch' experiments and could be detected even in 2560-fold dilutions of the pollen contents. H(+) ATPase mRNAs were detectable only in the vegetative but not in the generative cell of pollen as confirmed by immunolocalisation. In 15% of the scRT-PCR experiments, a random non-reproducibility of the PCR was observed, probably caused by varying amounts of ATPase mRNAs in the protoplasts. (+info)
Evolution of class B floral homeotic proteins: obligate heterodimerization originated from homodimerization.
The class B floral homeotic genes from the higher eudicot model systems Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum are involved in specifying the identity of petals and stamens during flower development. These genes exist in two different types termed DEF- and GLO-like genes. The proteins encoded by the class B genes are stable and functional in the cell only as heterodimeric complexes of a DEF- and a GLO-like protein. In line with this, heterodimerization is obligate for DNA binding in vitro. The genes whose products have to heterodimerize to be stable and functional are each other's closest relatives within their genomes. This suggests that the respective genes originated by gene duplication, and that heterodimerization is of relative recent origin and evolved from homodimerization. To test this hypothesis we have investigated the dimerization behavior of putative B proteins from phylogenetic informative taxa, employing electrophoretic mobility shift assays and the yeast two-hybrid system. We find that an ancestral B protein from the gymnosperm Gnetum gnemon binds DNA in a sequence-specific manner as a homodimer. Of the two types of B proteins from the monocot Lilium regale, the GLO-like protein is still able to homodimerize, whereas the DEF-like protein binds to DNA only as a heterodimeric complex with the GLO-like protein. These data suggest that heterodimerization evolved in two steps after a gene duplication that gave rise to DEF- and GLO-like genes. Heterodimerization may have originated after the gymnosperm-angiosperm split about 300 MYA but before the monocot-eudicot split 140-200 MYA. Heterodimerization may have become obligate for both types of flowering plant B proteins in the eudicot lineage after the monocot-eudicot split. (+info)
Autophosphorylation-dependent inactivation of plant chimeric calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase.
Chimeric calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) is characterized by the presence of a visinin-like Ca(2+)-binding domain unlike other known calmodulin- dependent kinases. Ca(2+)-Binding to the visinin-like domain leads to autophosphorylation and changes in the affinity for calmodulin [Sathyanarayanan P.V., Cremo C.R. & Poovaiah B.W. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 30417-30422]. Here, we report that the Ca(2+)-stimulated autophosphorylation of CCaMK results in time-dependent loss of enzyme activity. This time-dependent loss of activity or self-inactivation due to autophosphorylation is also dependent on reaction pH and ATP concentration. Inactivation of the enzyme resulted in the formation of a sedimentable enzyme due to self-association. Specifically, autophosphorylation in the presence of 200 microm ATP at pH 7.5 resulted in the formation of a sedimentable enzyme with a 33% loss in enzyme activity. Under similar conditions at pH 6.5, the enzyme lost 67% of its activity and at pH 8.5, 84% enzyme activity was lost. Furthermore, autophosphorylation at either acidic or alkaline reaction pH lead to the formation of a sedimentable enzyme. Transmission electron microscopic studies on autophosphorylated kinase revealed particles that clustered into branched complexes. The autophosphorylation of wild-type kinase in the presence of AMP-PNP (an unhydrolyzable ATP analog) or the autophosphorylation-site mutant, T267A, did not show formation of branched complexes under the electron microscope. Autophosphorylation- dependent self-inactivation may be a mechanism of modulating the signal transduction pathway mediated by CCaMK. (+info)
The regulation of actin organization by actin-depolymerizing factor in elongating pollen tubes.
Pollen tube elongation is a polarized cell growth process that transports the male gametes from the stigma to the ovary for fertilization inside the ovules. Actomyosin-driven intracellular trafficking and active actin remodeling in the apical and subapical regions of pollen tubes are both important aspects of this rapid tip growth process. Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) and cofilin are actin binding proteins that enhance the depolymerization of microfilaments at their minus, or slow-growing, ends. A pollen-specific ADF from tobacco, NtADF1, was used to dissect the role of ADF in pollen tube growth. Overexpression of NtADF1 resulted in the reduction of fine, axially oriented actin cables in transformed pollen tubes and in the inhibition of pollen tube growth in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, the proper regulation of actin turnover by NtADF1 is critical for pollen tube growth. When expressed at a moderate level in pollen tubes elongating in in vitro cultures, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged NtADF1 (GFP-NtADF1) associated predominantly with a subapical actin mesh composed of short actin filaments and with long actin cables in the shank. Similar labeling patterns were observed for GFP-NtADF1-expressing pollen tubes elongating within the pistil. A Ser-6-to-Asp conversion abolished the interaction between NtADF1 and F-actin in elongating pollen tubes and reduced its inhibitory effect on pollen tube growth significantly, suggesting that phosphorylation at Ser-6 may be a prominent regulatory mechanism for this pollen ADF. As with some ADF/cofilin, the in vitro actin-depolymerizing activity of recombinant NtADF1 was enhanced by slightly alkaline conditions. Because a pH gradient is known to exist in the apical region of elongating pollen tubes, it seems plausible that the in vivo actin-depolymerizing activity of NtADF1, and thus its contribution to actin dynamics, may be regulated spatially by differential H(+) concentrations in the apical region of elongating pollen tubes. (+info)
Oscillatory chloride efflux at the pollen tube apex has a role in growth and cell volume regulation and is targeted by inositol 3,4,5,6-tetrakisphosphate.
Oscillatory growth of pollen tubes has been correlated with oscillatory influxes of the cations Ca(2+), H(+), and K(+). Using an ion-specific vibrating probe, a new circuit was identified that involves oscillatory efflux of the anion Cl(-) at the apex and steady influx along the tube starting at 12 microm distal to the tip. This spatial coupling of influx and efflux sites predicts that a vectorial flux of Cl(-) ion traverses the apical region. The Cl(-) channel blockers 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS) and 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid completely inhibited tobacco pollen tube growth at 80 and 20 microM, respectively. Cl(-) channel blockers also induced increases in apical cell volume. The apical 50 micro m of untreated pollen tubes had a mean cell volume of 3905 +/- 75 microm(3). DIDS at 80 microM caused a rapid and lethal cell volume increase to 6206 +/- 171 microm(3), which is at the point of cell bursting at the apex. DIDS was further demonstrated to disrupt Cl(-) efflux from the apex, indicating that Cl(-) flux correlates with pollen tube growth and cell volume status. The signal encoded by inositol 3,4,5,6-tetrakisphosphate [Ins(3,4,5,6)P(4)] antagonized pollen tube growth, induced cell volume increases, and disrupted Cl(-) efflux. Ins(3,4,5,6)P(4) decreased the mean growth rate by 85%, increased the cell volume to 5997 +/- 148 microm(3), and disrupted normal Cl(-) efflux oscillations. These effects were specific for Ins(3,4,5,6)P(4) and were not mimicked by either Ins(1,3,4,5)P(4) or Ins(1,3,4,5,6)P(5). Growth correlation analysis demonstrated that cycles of Cl(-) efflux were coupled to and temporally in phase with cycles of growth. A role for Cl(-) flux in the dynamic cellular events during growth is assessed. Differential interference contrast microscopy and kymographic analysis of individual growth cycles revealed that vesicles can advance transiently to within 2 to 4 microm of the apex during the phase of maximally increasing Cl(-) efflux, which temporally overlaps the phase of cell elongation during the growth cycle. In summary, these investigations indicate that Cl(-) ion dynamics are an important component in the network of events that regulate pollen tube homeostasis and growth. (+info)