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Special Issue "Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Giampiero Cai

University of Siena, Department of Life Sciences, Siena, Italy
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Fax: +39 0577 232860
Interests: plant cell cytoskeleton; cell wall; organelle movement; cell morphogenesis; plant reproduction
Guest Editor
Prof. Stefano Del Duca

Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Department of Biology, Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: plant reproduction; pollen tube growth; self-incompatibility; programmed cell death; pollen allergens

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The pollen tube is a fundamental cell in the reproduction process of seed plants. The evolution of this cell has allowed plants to significantly reduce the need for water during the reproductive process, allowing them to conquer more lands. In its simplicity, the pollen tube exhibits several remarkable peculiarities, such as tip growth, a specifically organized cytoskeleton, a cell wall adapted to the growth mechanism and internal transport of sperm cells. Its biological importance and ease of analysis have made the pollen tube one of the most important cell models in plant biology. The importance of research on pollen tubes is always relevant, as demonstrated by the several articles published each year. The purpose of this Special Issue (which should report information or viewpoints of outstanding novelty) is to explore the key aspects of the mechanisms of functioning of the pollen tube in terms of reproductive success of plants. Self-incompatibility, regulation of pollen tube growth by female signals, negative effects of adverse environments on the growth process and therefore on reproduction are only a few of the research topics that are welcome in the special issue. The structure and function of other components of the pollen tube growth machinery, metabolism, genomics, biogenesis and senescence, reactive oxygen species and membrane transport are also of interest. Significant progress in pollen transformation is also welcome.

Prof. Giampiero Cai
Prof. Stefano Del Duca
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Self-incompatibility
  • Cell wall
  • Cell-cell communication
  • Abiotic stress
  • Cell morphogenesis
  • Plant reproduction
  • Plant metabolism
  • Plant genetics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Morphological Type Identification of Self-Incompatibility in Dendrobium and Its Phylogenetic Evolution Pattern
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2595; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092595
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Self-incompatibility (SI) is a type of reproductive barrier within plant species and is one of the mechanisms for the formation and maintenance of the high diversity and adaptation of angiosperm species. Approximately 40% of flowering plants are SI species, while only 10% of
[...] Read more.
Self-incompatibility (SI) is a type of reproductive barrier within plant species and is one of the mechanisms for the formation and maintenance of the high diversity and adaptation of angiosperm species. Approximately 40% of flowering plants are SI species, while only 10% of orchid species are self-incompatible. Intriguingly, as one of the largest genera in Orchidaceae, 72% of Dendrobium species are self-incompatible, accounting for nearly half of the reported SI species in orchids, suggesting that SI contributes to the high diversity of orchid species. However, few studies investigating SI in Dendrobium have been published. This study aimed to address the following questions: (1) How many SI phenotypes are in Dendrobium, and what are they? (2) What is their distribution pattern in the Dendrobium phylogenetic tree? We investigated the flowering time, the capsule set rate, and the pollen tube growth from the representative species of Dendrobium after artificial pollination and analysed their distribution in the Asian Dendrobium clade phylogenetic tree. The number of SI phenotypes exceeded our expectations. The SI type of Dendrobium chrysanthum was the primary type in the Dendrobium SI species. We speculate that there are many different SI determinants in Dendrobium that have evolved recently and might be specific to Dendrobium or Orchidaceae. Overall, this work provides new insights and a comprehensive understanding of Dendrobium SI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle GmIDL2a and GmIDL4a, Encoding the Inflorescence Deficient in Abscission-Like Protein, Are Involved in Soybean Cell Wall Degradation during Lateral Root Emergence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082262
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 22 July 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
PDF Full-text (3424 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The number of lateral roots (LRs) of a plant determines the efficiency of water and nutrient uptake. Soybean is a typical taproot crop which is deficient in LRs. The number of LRs is therefore an important agronomic trait in soybean breeding. It is
[...] Read more.
The number of lateral roots (LRs) of a plant determines the efficiency of water and nutrient uptake. Soybean is a typical taproot crop which is deficient in LRs. The number of LRs is therefore an important agronomic trait in soybean breeding. It is reported that the inflorescence deficient in abscission (IDA) protein plays an important role in the emergence of Arabidopsis LRs. Previously, the genes which encode IDA-like (IDL) proteins have been identified in the soybean genome. However, the functions of these genes in LR development are unknown. Therefore, it is of great value to investigate the function of IDL genes in soybean. In the present study, the functions of two root-specific expressed IDL genes, GmIDL2a and GmIDL4a, are investigated. The expressions of GmIDL2a and GmIDL4a, induced by auxin, are located in the overlaying tissue, where LRs are initiated. Overexpression of GmIDL2a and GmIDL4a increases the LR densities of the primary roots, but not in the elder root. Abnormal cell layer separation has also been observed in GmIDL2a- and GmIDL4a-overexpressing roots. These results suggest that the overlaying tissues of GmIDL2a- and GmIDL4a-overexpressing roots are looser and are suitable for the emergence of the LR primordium. Further investigation shows that the expression of some of the cell wall remodeling (CWR) genes, such as xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases, expansins, and polygalacturonases, are increased when GmIDL2a and GmIDL4a are overexpressed in hairy roots. Here, we conclude that GmIDL2a and GmIDL4a function in LR emergence through regulating soybean CWR gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle Can Selenium and Molybdenum Restrain Cadmium Toxicity to Pollen Grains in Brassica napus?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082163
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
PDF Full-text (7194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is highly toxic, even at very low concentrations, to both animals and plants. Pollen is extremely sensitive to heavy metal pollutants; however, less attention has been paid to the protection of this vital part under heavy metal stress. A pot experiment
[...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is highly toxic, even at very low concentrations, to both animals and plants. Pollen is extremely sensitive to heavy metal pollutants; however, less attention has been paid to the protection of this vital part under heavy metal stress. A pot experiment was designed to investigate the effect of foliar application of Se (1 mg/L) and Mo (0.3 mg/L) either alone or in combination on their absorption, translocation, and their impact on Cd uptake and its further distribution in Brassica napus, as well as the impact of these fertilizers on the pollen grains morphology, viability, and germination rate in B. napus under Cd stress. Foliar application of either Se or Mo could counteract Cd toxicity and increase the plant biomass, while combined application of Se and Mo solutions on B. napus has no significant promotional effect on plant root and stem, but reduces the seeds’ weight by 10–11%. Se and Mo have decreased the accumulated Cd in seeds by 6.8% and 9.7%, respectively. Microscopic studies, SEM, and pollen viability tests demonstrated that pollen grains could be negatively affected by Cd, thus disturbing the plant fertility. Se and Mo foliar application could reduce the toxic symptoms in pollen grains when the one or the other was sprayed alone on plants. In an in vitro pollen germination test, 500 μM Cd stress could strongly inhibit the pollen germination rate to less than 2.5%, however, when Se (10 μM) or Mo (1.0 μM) was added to the germination medium, the rate increased, reaching 66.2% and 39.4%, respectively. At the molecular level, Se and Mo could greatly affect the expression levels of some genes related to Cd uptake by roots (IRT1), Cd transport (HMA2 and HMA4), Cd sequestration in plant vacuoles (HMA3), and the final Cd distribution in plant tissue at the physiological level (PCS1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Transcriptomics Investigation into the Mechanisms of Self-Incompatibility between Pin and Thrum Morphs of Primula maximowiczii
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071840
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 17 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
PDF Full-text (5995 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Heteromorphic self-incompatibility (SI) is an important system for preventing inbreeding in the genus Primula. However, investigations into the molecular mechanisms of Primula SI are lacking. To explore the mechanisms of SI in Primula maximowiczii, the pollen germination and fruiting rates of
[...] Read more.
Heteromorphic self-incompatibility (SI) is an important system for preventing inbreeding in the genus Primula. However, investigations into the molecular mechanisms of Primula SI are lacking. To explore the mechanisms of SI in Primula maximowiczii, the pollen germination and fruiting rates of self- and cross-pollinations between pin and thrum morphs were investigated, and transcriptomics analyses of the pistils after pollination were performed to assess gene expression patterns in pin and thrum SI. The results indicated that P. maximowiczii exhibits strong SI and that the mechanisms of pollen tube inhibition differ between pin and thrum morphs. While self-pollen tubes of the pin morph were able to occasionally, though rarely, enter the style, those of the thrum morph were never observed to enter the style. The transcriptomics analysis of the pistils revealed 1311 and 1048 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were identified by comparing pin self-pollination (PS) vs. pin cross-pollination (PT) and thrum self-pollination (TS) vs. thrum cross-pollination (TP). Notably, about 90% of these DEGs exhibited different expression patterns in the two comparisons. Moreover, pin and thrum DEGs were associated with different Gene Ontology (GO) categories and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways following enrichment analyses. Based on our results, the molecular mechanisms underlying the pin and thrum SI in P. maximowiczii appear to be distinct. Furthermore, the genes involved in the SI processes are commonly associated with carbohydrate metabolism and environmental adaptation. These results provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms of Primula SI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Transcriptomic and GC-MS Metabolomic Analyses Reveal the Sink Strength Changes during Petunia Anther Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040955
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
PDF Full-text (3656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Petunia, which has been prevalently cultivated in landscaping, is a dicotyledonous herbaceous flower of high ornamental value. Annually, there is a massive worldwide market demand for petunia seeds. The normal development of anther is the necessary prerequisite for the plants to generate
[...] Read more.
Petunia, which has been prevalently cultivated in landscaping, is a dicotyledonous herbaceous flower of high ornamental value. Annually, there is a massive worldwide market demand for petunia seeds. The normal development of anther is the necessary prerequisite for the plants to generate seeds. However, the knowledge of petunia anther development processes is still limited. To better understand the mechanisms of petunia anther development, the transcriptomes and metabolomes of petunia anthers at three typical development stages were constructed and then used to detect the gene expression patterns and primary metabolite profiles during the anther development processes. Results suggested that there were many differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) that mainly participated in photosynthesis and starch and sucrose metabolism when DEGs were compared between the different development stages of anthers. In this study, fructose and glucose, which were involved in starch and sucrose metabolism, were taken as the most important metabolites by partial least-squares discriminate analysis (PLS-DA). Additionally, the qRT-PCR analysis of the photosynthetic-related genes all showed decreased expression trends along with the anther development. These pieces of evidence indicated that the activities of energy and carbohydrate metabolic pathways were gradually reduced during all the development stages of anther, which affects the sink strength. Overall, this work provides a novel and comprehensive understanding of the metabolic processes in petunia anthers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Differences in Fertility among Progenies from Self-Pollinated Chrysanthemum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030832
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
PDF Full-text (10617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Most chrysanthemum cultivars are self-incompatible, so it is very difficult to create pure lines that are important in chrysanthemum breeding and theoretical studies. In our previous study, we obtained a self-compatible chrysanthemum cultivar and its self-pollinated seed set was 56.50%. It was interesting
[...] Read more.
Most chrysanthemum cultivars are self-incompatible, so it is very difficult to create pure lines that are important in chrysanthemum breeding and theoretical studies. In our previous study, we obtained a self-compatible chrysanthemum cultivar and its self-pollinated seed set was 56.50%. It was interesting that the seed set of its ten progenies ranged from 0% to 37.23%. Examination of the factors causing the differences in the seed set will lead to an improved understanding of chrysanthemum self-incompatibility, and provide valuable information for creating pure lines. Pollen morphology, pollen germination percentage, pistil receptivity and embryo development were investigated using the in vitro culture method, the paraffin section technique, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Moreover, RNA sequencing and bioinformatics were applied to analyzing the transcriptomic profiles of mature stigmas and anthers. It was found that the self-pollinated seed set of “Q10-33-1①”,”Q10-33-1③”,”Q10-33-1④” and “Q10-33-1⑩” were 37.23%, 26.77%, 7.97% and 0%, respectively. The differences in fertility among four progenies were mainly attributable to differences in pollen germination percentage and pistil receptivity. Failure of the seed set in “Q10-33-1⑩” was possibly due to self-incompatibility. In the transcriptomic files, 22 potential stigma S genes and 8 potential pollen S genes were found out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollen Tube and Plant Reproduction)
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Graphical abstract

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Self-incompatibility of citrus: what should we do next step?
Author: Lijun Chai
Abstract: Citrus is one of the most important economic crops in the world. It possesses a significant reproductive characteristic, self-incompatibility (SI). Here, the focus is on the characterization of S-locus genes of SI. We emphasize recent studies of candidate genes and discuss the technical problems confronting us, including the long juvenile period and the much difficult genetic transformation in citrus. To overcome these problems, three further works will be carried out that the antisense oligonucleotide is utilized, an in vitro and an in vivo system (a Hongkong kumquat transgenic system) of SI are built.

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