Submitted to: Plant Journal
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/2013
Publication Date: 3/26/2013
Citation: Li, S., Ge, F., Xu, M., Zhao, X., Huang, G., Zhou, L., Wang, J., Kombrink, A., Mccormick, S.M., Zhang, X.S., Zhang, Y. 2013. Aridopsis COBRA-LIKE 10, a GPI-anchored protien, mediates directional growth of pollen tubes. Plant Journal. 74:486-497. Interpretive Summary: In order for plant fertilization to occur, pollen tubes must grow through the female tissues, following guidance cues. A protein called COBRA-LIKE10 is attached to the pollen tube membrane by a sugar link. If this linkage is blocked, so that COBRA-LIKE 10 is not properly located at the pollen tube tip, then the pollen tube does not grow properly and cannot sense directional cues from the female tissue.
Technical Abstract: Successful reproduction of flowering plants requires constant communication between female tissues and growing pollen tubes. Female cells secrete molecules and peptides as nutrients or guidance cues for fast and directional tube growth, which is executed by dynamic changes of intracellular activities within pollen tubes. Compared to the extensive interest in female cues and intracellular activities of pollen tubes, how female cues are sensed and interpreted intracellularly in pollen is poorly understood. We show here that COBL10, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, is one component of this pollen tube internal machinery. Mutations in COBL10 caused gametophytic male sterility due to reduced pollen tube growth and compromised directional sensing in the female transmitting tract. Deposition of the apical pectin cap and cellulose microfibrils was disrupted in cobl10 pollen tubes. Pollen tube localization of COBL10 at the apical plasma membrane is critical for its function and relies on proper GPI processing and its C-terminal hydrophobic residues. GPI-anchored proteins are widespread cell sensors in mammals, especially during egg-sperm communication. Our results that COBL10 is critical for directional growth of pollen tubes suggest that they play critical roles in cell-cell communications in plants.