Report

Micropylar Pollen Tube Guidance by Egg Apparatus 1 of Maize

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Science  28 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5709, pp. 573-576
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104954

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Abstract

Pollen tube guidance precedes the double fertilization of flowering plants. Here, we report the identification of a small maize protein of 94 amino acids involved in short-range signaling required for pollen tube attraction by the female gametophyte. ZmEA1 is exclusively expressed in the egg apparatus, consisting of the egg cell and two synergids. Chimeric ZmEA1 fused to green fluorescent protein (ZmEA1:GFP) was first visible within the filiform apparatus and later was localized to nucellar cell walls below the micropylar opening of the ovule. Transgenic down-regulation of the ZmEA1 gene led to ovule sterility caused by loss of close-range pollen tube guidance to the micropyle.

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