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Regulation of pollen tube growth by Rac-like GTPases
Journal of Experimental Botany (2003)
  • Alice Cheung, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • C. Y. Chen
  • L. Z. Tao
  • T. Andreyeva
  • D. Twell
  • H. M. Wu
Plant Rac-like GTPases have been classified phylogenetically into two major groups-class I and class II. Several pollen-expressed class I Rac-like GTPases have been shown to be important regulators of polar pollen tube growth. The functional participation by some of the class I and all of the class II Arabidopsis Rac-like GTPases in pollen tube growth remains to be explored. It is shown that at least four members of the Arabidopsis Rac GTPase family are expressed in pollen, including a class II Rac, AtRac7. However, when over-expressed as fusion proteins with GFP, both pollen- and non-pollen-expressed AtRacs interfered with the normal pollen tube tip growth process. These observations suggest that these AtRacs share similar biochemical activities and may integrate into the pollen cellular machinery that regulates the polar tube growth process. Therefore, the functional contribution by individual Rac GTPase to the pollen tube growth process probably depends to a considerable extent on their expression characteristics in pollen. Among the Arabidopsis Racs, GFP-AtRac7 showed association with the cell membrane and Golgi bodies, a pattern distinct from all previously reported localization for other plant Racs. Over-expressing GFP-AtRac7 also induced the broadest spectrum of pollen tube growth defects, including pollen tubes that are bifurcated, with diverted growth trajectory or a ballooned tip. Transgenic plants with multiple copies of the chimeric Lat52-GFP-AtRac7 showed severely reduced seed set, probably many of these defective pollen tubes were arrested, or reduced in their growth rates that they did not arrive at the ovules while they were still receptive for fertilization. These observations substantiate the importance of Rac-like GTPases to sexual reproduction.
Publication Date
January, 2003
Publisher Statement
doi: 10.1093/jxb/erg044
Citation Information
Alice Cheung, C. Y. Chen, L. Z. Tao, T. Andreyeva, et al.. "Regulation of pollen tube growth by Rac-like GTPases" Journal of Experimental Botany Vol. 54 Iss. 380 (2003)
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