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The pollen tube journey in the pistil and imaging the in vivo process by two-photon microscopy.

TitleThe pollen tube journey in the pistil and imaging the in vivo process by two-photon microscopy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsCheung AY, Boavida LC, Aggarwal M, Wu H-M, Feijó JA
JournalJ Exp Bot
Date Published2010 Apr
KeywordsArabidopsis, Arabidopsis Proteins, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Microscopy, Ovule, Photons, Pollen Tube, Seeds

The process of pollen germination and tube growth in the pistil involves a series of cell-cell interactions, some facilitating fertilization while others prohibiting pollen tube access to the female gametophyte, either because of incompatibility or as a result of mechanisms to avert polyspermy and to ensure reproductive success. Understanding pollen tube growth and guidance to the female gametophyte has long been a pursuit among plant biologists, and observations indicate that diverse strategies may be adopted by different plant species. Recent studies in Arabidopsis, maize, and Torenia fournieri suggest that low molecular weight secretory molecules probably play major roles in the short-range attraction of pollen tubes to the female gametophyte. The process of pollen tube growth in the pistil occurs beneath several cell layers so much of the information that conveys the intimate partnership between penetrating pollen tubes and the female tissues has come from fixed samples and observations of in vitro pollen tube growth responses to female factors. A unique glimpse of the in vivo pollen germination and tube growth process is provided here by intra-vital two-photon excitation (TPE) microscopy of pollinated Arabidopsis pistils that remained on intact plants. Further discoveries of critical factors of male or female origins and how they control the pollen tube growth and fertilization process will broaden our understanding of the common themes and diverse strategies that plants have evolved to ensure reproductive success. The advancement of imaging technology to monitor pollination and fertilization and the development of probes to monitor various aspects of the pollen tube growth process, including pollen intracellular dynamics, will allow us to superimpose details obtained from studying pollen tube growth in culture conditions to interpret and understand the in vivo events.

Alternate JournalJ. Exp. Bot.
PubMed ID20363865

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