Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

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}

An update on receptor-like kinase involvement in the maintenance of plant cell wall integrity.
T. Engelsdorf and T. Hamann (2014)
Ann. Bot.
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Love is a battlefield: programmed cell death during fertilization.
J. Heydlauff and R. Gross-Hardt (2014)
J. Exp. Bot. 65, 1323-1330
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A force of nature: molecular mechanisms of mechanoperception in plants.
G. B. Monshausen and E. S. Haswell (2013)
J. Exp. Bot. 64, 4663-4680
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The Arabidopsis small GTPase AtRAC7/ROP9 is a modulator of auxin and abscisic acid signalling.
C. Nibau, L. Tao, K. Levasseur, H.-M. Wu, and A. Y. Cheung (2013)
J. Exp. Bot. 64, 3425-3437
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Male-Female Crosstalk during Pollen Germination, Tube Growth and Guidance, and Double Fertilization.
T. Dresselhaus and N. Franklin-Tong (2013)
Mol Plant 6, 1018-1036
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Green love talks; cell-cell communication during double fertilization in flowering plants.
T. Kawashima and F. Berger (2013)
AoB Plants 2011, plr015
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Developmental onset of reproductive barriers and associated proteome changes in stigma/styles of Solanum pennellii.
S. C. Chalivendra, G. Lopez-Casado, A. Kumar, A. R. Kassenbrock, S. Royer, A. Tovar-Mendez, P. A. Covey, L. A. Dempsey, A. M. Randle, S. M. Stack, et al. (2013)
J. Exp. Bot. 64, 265-279
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
FERONIA receptor kinase pathway suppresses abscisic acid signaling in Arabidopsis by activating ABI2 phosphatase.
F. Yu, L. Qian, C. Nibau, Q. Duan, D. Kita, K. Levasseur, X. Li, C. Lu, H. Li, C. Hou, et al. (2012)
PNAS 109, 14693-14698
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Small Signaling Peptides in Arabidopsis Development: How Cells Communicate Over a Short Distance.
E. Murphy, S. Smith, and I. De Smet (2012)
PLANT CELL 24, 3198-3217
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Arabinogalactan proteins in root and pollen-tube cells: distribution and functional aspects.
E. Nguema-Ona, S. Coimbra, M. Vicre-Gibouin, J.-C. Mollet, and A. Driouich (2012)
Ann. Bot. 110, 383-404
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
SR1, a Calmodulin-Binding Transcription Factor, Modulates Plant Defense and Ethylene-Induced Senescence by Directly Regulating NDR1 and EIN3.
H. Nie, C. Zhao, G. Wu, Y. Wu, Y. Chen, and D. Tang (2012)
Plant Physiology 158, 1847-1859
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
RopGEF7 Regulates PLETHORA-Dependent Maintenance of the Root Stem Cell Niche in Arabidopsis.
M. Chen, H. Liu, J. Kong, Y. Yang, N. Zhang, R. Li, J. Yue, J. Huang, C. Li, A. Y. Cheung, et al. (2011)
PLANT CELL 23, 2880-2894
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A Highway for War and Peace: The Secretory Pathway in Plant-Microbe Interactions.
D. Wang and X. Dong (2011)
Mol Plant
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A Barley ROP GTPase ACTIVATING PROTEIN Associates with Microtubules and Regulates Entry of the Barley Powdery Mildew Fungus into Leaf Epidermal Cells.
C. Hoefle, C. Huesmann, H. Schultheiss, F. Bornke, G. Hensel, J. Kumlehn, and R. Huckelhoven (2011)
PLANT CELL 23, 2422-2439
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The walls have ears: the role of plant CrRLK1Ls in sensing and transducing extracellular signals.
A. Boisson-Dernier, S. A. Kessler, and U. Grossniklaus (2011)
J. Exp. Bot. 62, 1581-1591
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Fertility Goddesses as Trojan Horses.
F. Govers and G. C. Angenent (2010)
Science 330, 922-923
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882