Pollen performance before and during the autotrophic-heterotrophic transition of pollen tube growth

Andrew G. Stephenson, Steven E. Travers, Jorge I. Mena-Ali, James A. Winsor, S. C H Barrett, R. J. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For species with bicellular pollen, the attrition of pollen tubes is often greatest where the style narrows at the transition between stigmatic tissue and the transmitting tissue of the style. In this region, the tubes switch from predominantly autotrophic to predominantly heterotrophic growth, the generative cell divides, the first callose plugs are produced, and, in species with RNase-type self-incompatibility (SI), incompatible tubes are arrested. We review the literature and present new findings concerning the genetic, environmental and stylar influences on the performance of pollen before and during the autotrophic-heterotrophic transition of pollen tube growth. We found that the ability of the paternal sporophyte to provision its pollen during development significantly influences pollen performance during the autotrophic growth phase. Consequently, under conditions of pollen competition, pollen selection during the autotrophic phase is acting on the phenotype of the paternal sporophyte. In a field experiment, using Cucurbita pepo, we found broad-sense heritable variation for herbivore-pathogen resistance, and that the most resistant families produced larger and better performing pollen when the paternal sporophytes were not protected by insecticides, indicating that selection during the autotrophic phase can act on traits that are not expressed by the microgametophyte. In a study of a weedy SI species, Solanum carolinense, we found that the ability of the styles to arrest self-pollen tubes at the autotrophic-heterotrophic transition changes with floral age and the presence of developing fruits. These findings have important implications for selection at the level of the microgametophyte and the evolution of mating systems of plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1018
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume358
Issue number1434
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 29 2003

Fingerprint

Pollen Tube
Pollen
pollen tubes
pollen
Growth
Tissue
Pathogens
Ribonucleases
Insecticides
Aptitude
Fruits
Switches
Solanum carolinense
Autotrophic Processes
Heterotrophic Processes
Solanum
Cucurbita
Herbivory
sporophytes
Cucurbita pepo

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Stephenson, Andrew G. ; Travers, Steven E. ; Mena-Ali, Jorge I. ; Winsor, James A. ; Barrett, S. C H ; Scott, R. J. / Pollen performance before and during the autotrophic-heterotrophic transition of pollen tube growth. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2003 ; Vol. 358, No. 1434. pp. 1009-1018.
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Pollen performance before and during the autotrophic-heterotrophic transition of pollen tube growth. / Stephenson, Andrew G.; Travers, Steven E.; Mena-Ali, Jorge I.; Winsor, James A.; Barrett, S. C H; Scott, R. J.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 358, No. 1434, 29.06.2003, p. 1009-1018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Pollen performance before and during the autotrophic-heterotrophic transition of pollen tube growth

AU - Stephenson, Andrew G.

AU - Travers, Steven E.

AU - Mena-Ali, Jorge I.

AU - Winsor, James A.

AU - Barrett, S. C H

AU - Scott, R. J.

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