Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

The Evolution of Pollen Performance

Geitmann, Anja [1].

Does size matter? How the pollen tube copes with the anatomical challenges of the pistil.

To be competitive, the pollen tube elongates extremely rapidly and it has to do so against the impedance of the pistillar tissues. Pistil anatomy varies significantly between species and consequently so does the degree of difficulty for the pollen tube to reach its target. The force required for the invasive activity is generated by the turgor pressure, but its magnitude and timing are regulated by the cell wall. How the pollen tube regulates and adapts its invasive force, and how it controls its species-specific diameter are questions that require cell mechanical approaches. Using a microfluidic device we tested the pollen tube's ability to navigate mechanical obstacles and to exert penetrative forces by guiding them through microscopic gaps made of elastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) material. Depending on the size ratio between tube and gap, the tubes either deformed the gap walls completely, became deformed themselves while passing, or stalled. Based on the deformation of the gaps, the dilating force exerted by the elongating tubes was determined using finite element methods. Remarkably, tubes that successfully passed a narrow gap typically burst shortly after, releasing the sperm cells. These findings raise questions about the evolution of the sperm discharge mechanism in the flowering plants.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University of Montreal, Department of Biological Sciences, Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, 4101 Rue Sherbrooke est, Montréal, QC, H1X2B2, Canada

Plant reproduction
Cell Biology
pollen germination
Pollen tube.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY03
Location: Snake/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: SY03002
Abstract ID:262
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2013, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved