Cell–cell communications and molecular mechanisms in plant sexual reproduction
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Sexual reproduction is achieved by precise interactions between male and female reproductive organs. In plant fertilization, sperm cells are carried to ovules by pollen tubes. Signals from the pistil are involved in elongation and control of the direction of the pollen tube. Genetic, reverse genetic, and cell biological analyses using model plants have identified various factors related to the regulation of pollen tube growth and guidance. In this review, I summarize the mechanisms and molecules controlling pollen tube growth to the ovule, micropylar guidance, reception of the guidance signal in the pollen tube, rupture of the pollen tube to release sperm cells, and cessation of the tube guidance signal. I also briefly introduce various techniques used to analyze pollen tube guidance in vitro.
KeywordsPlant sexual reproduction Pollen tube guidance Synergid cell Gamete fusion Lab-on-a-chip
Author thank Ms. Ryoko Tsukamoto for providing pictures in Figure 2. This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for Innovative Areas (15H04385 and 16H06465) and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (15H01231) to MMK.
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