Male gamete biology in flowering plants
ABSTRACT Flowering plant reproduction is characterized by double fertilization, in which two diminutive brother sperm cells initiate embryo and endosperm. The role of the male gamete, although studied structurally for over a century at various levels, is still being explored on a molecular and cellular level. The potential of the male to influence development has been historically underestimated and the reasons for this are obvious: limitations provided by maternal imprinting, the much greater cellular volume of female gametes and the general paucity of paternal effects. However, as more is known about molecular expression of chromatin-modifying proteins, ubiquitin pathway proteins and transcription factors in sperm cells, as well as their ability to achieve effect by intaglio expression, passing transcripts directly into translation, the role of the male is likely to expand. Much of the expression in the male germline that appears to be distinct from patterns of pollen vegetative cell expression may be the result of chromosomal level regulation of transcription.
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ABSTRACT: Genomic assay of sperm cell RNA provides insight into functional control, modes of regulation, and contributions of male gametes to double fertilization. Sperm cells of rice (Oryza sativa) were isolated from field-grown, disease-free plants and RNA was processed for use with the full-genome Affymetrix microarray. Comparison with Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) reference arrays confirmed expressionally distinct gene profiles. A total of 10,732 distinct gene sequences were detected in sperm cells, of which 1668 were not expressed in pollen or seedlings. Pathways enriched in male germ cells included ubiquitin-mediated pathways, pathways involved in chromatin modeling including histones, histone modification and nonhistone epigenetic modification, and pathways related to RNAi and gene silencing. Genome-wide expression patterns in angiosperm sperm cells indicate common and divergent themes in the male germline that appear to be largely self-regulating through highly up-regulated chromatin modification pathways. A core of highly conserved genes appear common to all sperm cells, but evidence is still emerging that another class of genes have diverged in expression between monocots and dicots since their divergence. Sperm cell transcripts present at fusion may be transmitted through plasmogamy during double fertilization to effect immediate post-fertilization expression of early embryo and (or) endosperm development.New Phytologist 06/2012; 195(3):560-73. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04199.x · 6.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction of foreign genes and development of transgenic plants have become an integral part of crop improvement programmes in the last decade. However, most of the present day plant transformation protocols require long periods for development of transgenic plants and need skilled personnel. Development of alternate, simple and rapid transformation protocols for development of transgenic plants can overcome the constraints of in vitro culture, regeneration and associated problems. Pollen grains, due to their abundance and ease with which they can be handled are ideal targets for introduction of foreign genes into the germ line. However, progress in introduction of transgenes into pollen grains and their subsequent use in fertilization leading to development of transgenic plants are limited. With the recent progress made in understanding of pollen development along with reports of successful pollen-mediated transformation in important crop plants, it should be possible to extend this simple method of transformation to other crop plants. The review deals with development of pollen grains as a target for introduction of genes with special emphasis on recent developments.Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 03/2011; 17(1):1-8. DOI:10.1007/s12298-010-0042-6
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ABSTRACT: In this study, the transcriptional state and distribution of RNA polymerase II, pre-mRNA splicing machinery elements, and rRNA transcripts were investigated in the sperm cells of Hyacinthus orientalis L. during in vitro pollen tube growth. During the second pollen mitosis, no nascent transcripts were observed in the area of the dividing generative cell, whereas the splicing factors were present and their pools were divided between newly formed sperm cells. Just after their origin, the sperm cells were shown to synthesize new RNA, although at a markedly lower level than the vegetative nucleus. The occurrence of RNA synthesis was accompanied by the presence of RNA polymerase II and a rich pool of splicing machinery elements. Differences in the spatial pattern of pre-mRNA splicing factors localization reflect different levels of RNA synthesis in the vegetative nucleus and sperm nuclei. In the vegetative nucleus, they were localized homogenously, whereas in the sperm nuclei a mainly speckled pattern of small nuclear RNA with a trimethylguanosine cap (TMG snRNA) and SC35 protein distribution was observed. As pollen tube growth proceeded, inhibition of RNA synthesis in the sperm nuclei was observed, which was accompanied by a gradual elimination of the splicing factors. In addition, analysis of rRNA localization indicated that the sperm nuclei are likely to synthesize some pool of rRNA at the later steps of pollen tube. It is proposed that the described changes in the nuclear activity of H. orientalis sperm cells reflect their maturation process during pollen tube growth, and that mature sperm cells do not carry into the zygote the nascent transcripts or the splicing machinery elements.Journal of Experimental Botany 11/2010; 62(3):1255-69. DOI:10.1093/jxb/erq354 · 5.79 Impact Factor