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Science 330 (6006): 968-971

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Conserved Molecular Components for Pollen Tube Reception and Fungal Invasion

Sharon A. Kessler,1 Hiroko Shimosato-Asano,1,* Nana F. Keinath,2,{dagger} Samuel E. Wuest,1,{ddagger} Gwyneth Ingram,3,§ Ralph Panstruga,2 Ueli Grossniklaus1,||

Abstract: During sexual reproduction in flowering plants such as Arabidopsis, a tip-growing pollen tube (PT) is guided to the synergid cells of the female gametophyte, where it bursts and releases the two sperm. Here we show that PT reception and powdery mildew (PM) infection, which involves communication between a tip-growing hypha and a plant epidermal cell, share molecular components. NORTIA (NTA), a member of the MLO family originally discovered in the context of PM resistance, and FERONIA (FER), a receptor-like kinase, both control PT reception in synergids. Homozygous fer mutants also display PM resistance, revealing a new function for FER and suggesting that conserved components, such as FER and distinct MLO proteins, are involved in both PT reception and PM infection.

1 Institute of Plant Biology and Zürich Basel Plant Science Center, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland.
2 Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, 50829 Köln, Germany.
3 Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JR, UK.

* Present address: Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan.

{dagger} Present address: Heidelberg Institute for Plant Sciences, Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 230, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

{ddagger} Present address: Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.

§ Present address: Laboratoire de Reproduction et Développement des Plantes, 46 Allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France.

|| To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: grossnik{at}botinst.uzh.ch


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