In plant reproduction, pollination is the initial key process in bringing together the male and female gametophytes. When a pollen grain lands on the surface of the stigma, information is exchanged between the pollen and stigmatic cell to determine whether the pollen grain will be accepted or rejected. If it is accepted, the stigmatic papilla cell supplies water and other resources to the pollen for germination and pollen tube elongation. Cellular processes involving action are essential for pollen germination and tube growth, and action-binding proteins regulate these processes by interacting with action filaments to assemble cytoskeletal structures and action networks. LIM proteins, which belong to a subfamily of cysteine-rich proteins, are a family of action-binding proteins in plants, and are considered to be important for formation of the action cytoskeleton and maintenance of its dynamics. Although the physiological and biochemical characteristics of LIMs have been elucidated in vitro in a variety of cell types, their exact role in pollen germination and pollen tube growth during pollination remained unclear. In this manuscript, we focus on the pollen-specific LIM proteins, AtPLIM2a and AtPLIM2c, and define their biological function during pollination in Arabidopsis thaliana. The atplim2a/atplim2c double knockdown RNAi plants showed a reduced pollen germination, approximately one-fifth of wild type, and slower pollen tube growth in the pistil, that is 80.4 μm/hr compared to 140.8 μm/hr in wild type. These defects led to an occasional unfertilized ovule at the bottom of the silique in RNAi plants. Our data provide direct evidence of the biological function of LIM proteins during pollination as action-binding proteins, modulating cytoskeletal structures and action networks, and their consequent importance in seed production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology