HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Making plants better lovers: Scientists find gene responsible for reproductive success in plants

The birds do it, the bees do it, and now researchers have discovered how plants can do it better. Published in the February 1 issue of Genes & Development, researchers have discovered that the presence of a potassium ion channel in pollen increases reproductive success.

During pollination, pollen grains land on the female stigma (the receptacle portion of the female reproductive organ)and begin the process of extending a long tube up the style, through the ovary and into the ovule. Once in the ovule, the pollen tube tip bursts and releases the sperm that will fertilize the female egg. However, because many pollen tubes grow towards only a few ovules, the process of pollen tube elongation becomes a race for reproductive survival.

Dr. Herve Sentenac and colleagues at the CNRS and INRA Centre de Versailles in France have discovered that the Arabidopsis gene, SPIK, encodes a potassium ion channel that is found specifically in pollen. Potassium ion channels play crucial roles in a variety of cellular processes in animals, including neural activity and heart contraction in humans, but this paper is the first report of a potassium channel in pollen.

The SPIK protein forms a pore through the pollen cell membrane that specifically allows the passage of potassium ions through to the cytoplasm, thereby regulating intracellular potassium levels. Dr. Sentenac and colleagues found that plant cells deficient in SPIK displayed markedly decreased pollen tube growth.

Using several different biochemical and genetic approaches, Dr. Sentenac and colleagues conclude that the SPIK potassium ion channel increases pollen competitive ability by facilitating the rapid elongation of the pollen tube, and therefore helps to ensure the reproductive success of pollen grain.


'"/>

Contact: Nora Poppito
poppito@cshl.org
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
31-Jan-2002


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Making a friendlier mosquito
2. Making sense of the brains mind-boggling complexity
3. Making protein nanostructures
4. Making the most of stem cells
5. Making of mouse marks move toward mitochondrial medicine
6. Making new muscle: Researchers in Rome produce a mouse that can regenerate its tissues
7. Making sense of bacterial biodiversity
8. Making sense of the genome
9. Making a safer anthrax vaccine using spinach
10. A new twist on an age-old problem: Making knee replacements last
11. Making sense of Marfan syndrome

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/8/2019)... ... January 07, 2019 , ... ... solutions, is proud to welcome Thomas Kennedy as head of sales and business ... for PureWay. , Mr. Kennedy has previously worked for Johnson & Johnson Medical, ...
(Date:1/4/2019)... ... January 02, 2019 , ... Lifecycle Biotechnologies ... the life science tools and service supplier turned 40 in 2018 and for ... catalog features not just part numbers like most catalogs, but rather, insightful information ...
(Date:12/25/2018)... ... 2018 , ... Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine ... a long-standing computational concept known as “blacklisting,” which is commonly employed as a ... as a filter to single out genetic variations in patient genomes and exomes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/8/2019)... ... January 08, 2019 , ... The American Society of ... were named by a selection committee made up of industry leaders identified by the ... Development grants are mentored awards created to support ASGCT members designing transformative pilot studies ...
(Date:1/4/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... January 01, 2019 , ... ... first Microbiome Conference at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting January 22-25, 2019 ... conference is invitation-only. , The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting brings together leaders ...
(Date:12/20/2018)... ... ... New Year’s brings reflection and desire to improve for individuals and businesses ... on the horizon, Jim Kasic, president and CEO of Boulder iQ, suggests five resolutions ... Regulation (MDR), digital health, and big data are just a few of the challenges ...
(Date:12/18/2018)... ... December 17, 2018 , ... ABCT , ... biosciences ventures invited to participate in the annual program. Twelve ventures will participate ... and a professional network. All startups receive an entrepreneur coach, access to active ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: