The transmitting tissue of Nicotiana tabacum is not essential to pollen tube growth, and its ablation can reverse prezygotic interspecific barriers

Alan G. Smith, Carrie A. Eberle, Nicole G. Moss, Neil O. Anderson, Benjamin M. Clasen, Adrian D. Hegeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Nicotiana tabacum transmitting tissue is a highly specialized file of metabolically active cells that is the pathway for pollen tubes from the stigma to the ovules where fertilization occurs. It is thought to be essential to pollen tube growth because of the nutrients and guidance it provides to the pollen tubes. It also regulates gametophytic self-incompatibility in the style. To test the function of the transmitting tissue in pollen tube growth and to determine its role in regulating prezygotic interspecific incompatibility, genetic ablation was used to eliminate the mature transmitting tissue, producing a hollow style. Despite the absence of the mature transmitting tissue and greatly reduced transmitting-tissue-specific gene expression, self-pollen tubes had growth to the end of the style. Pollen tubes grew at a slower rate in the transmitting-tissue-ablated line during the first 24 h post-pollination. However, pollen tubes grew to a similar length 40 h post-pollination with and without a transmitting tissue. Ablation of the N. tabacum transmitting tissue significantly altered interspecific pollen tube growth. These results implicate the N. tabacum transmitting tissue in facilitating or inhibiting interspecific pollen tube growth in a species-dependent manner and in controlling prezygotic reproductive barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-350
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Reproduction
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank B. McClure, Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri, for generously supplying antibodies for TTS, PELPIII, and 120-kDa proteins. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0920114 and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Copyright:
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Interspecific incompatibility
  • Pollination
  • Stigma
  • Style
  • Unilateral

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