Double fertilization in maize: the two male gametes from a pollen grain have the ability to fuse with egg cells

Double fertilization in maize: the two male gametes from a pollen grain have the ability to fuse... Summary In flowering plants, two male gametes from a single pollen grain fuse with two female gametes, the egg and central cells, to form the embryo and endosperm, respectively. The question then arises whether the two male gametes fuse randomly with the egg and central cells. We investigated this question using two nearly isogenic maize lines with supernumerary B chromosomes (TB10L18) or without (r‐tester). B chromosomes regularly undergo non‐disjunction at the second pollen mitosis, producing one sperm cell with zero B chromosomes and one with two. We first confirmed earlier studies showing an excess of transmission of the B chromosomes to the embryo rather than to the endosperm. We then tested the possibility of a directed fertilization. For TB10L18 pollen, we could demonstrate the existence of a size dimorphism between the two sperm cells, correlated to the content in B chromosomes, as detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). However, no directed fusion of B chromosome containing sperm to egg cells could be detected when using in vitro fertilization. The absence of directed fusion in vitro could also be demonstrated for control lines. We conclude that both male gametes have the capacity to fuse with the egg cell in maize, although sexual reproduction results in a preferential transmission of supernumerary B chromosomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Plant Journal Wiley

Double fertilization in maize: the two male gametes from a pollen grain have the ability to fuse with egg cells

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0960-7412
eISSN
1365-313X
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01692.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Summary In flowering plants, two male gametes from a single pollen grain fuse with two female gametes, the egg and central cells, to form the embryo and endosperm, respectively. The question then arises whether the two male gametes fuse randomly with the egg and central cells. We investigated this question using two nearly isogenic maize lines with supernumerary B chromosomes (TB10L18) or without (r‐tester). B chromosomes regularly undergo non‐disjunction at the second pollen mitosis, producing one sperm cell with zero B chromosomes and one with two. We first confirmed earlier studies showing an excess of transmission of the B chromosomes to the embryo rather than to the endosperm. We then tested the possibility of a directed fertilization. For TB10L18 pollen, we could demonstrate the existence of a size dimorphism between the two sperm cells, correlated to the content in B chromosomes, as detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). However, no directed fusion of B chromosome containing sperm to egg cells could be detected when using in vitro fertilization. The absence of directed fusion in vitro could also be demonstrated for control lines. We conclude that both male gametes have the capacity to fuse with the egg cell in maize, although sexual reproduction results in a preferential transmission of supernumerary B chromosomes.

Journal

The Plant JournalWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2003

References

  • Molecular characterization of a maize B chromosome centric sequence
    Alfenito, Alfenito; Birchler, Birchler
  • Procedure to isolate viable sperm cells from corn ( Zea mays L.) pollen grains
    Dupuis, Dupuis; Roeckel, Roeckel; Matthys Rochon, Matthys Rochon; Dumas, Dumas
  • Fertilization in flowering plants. New approaches for an old story
    Faure, Faure; Dumas, Dumas
  • Fertilization in Arabidopsis thaliana wild type: developmental stages and time course
    Faure, Faure; Rotman, Rotman; Fortuné, Fortuné; Dumas, Dumas
  • Molecular genetics of plant embryogenesis
    Meinke, Meinke
  • B chromosome behavior in maize pollen as determined by a molecular probe
    Rusche, Rusche; Mogensen, Mogensen; Shi, Shi; Keim, Keim; Rougier, Rougier; Chaboud, Chaboud; Dumas, Dumas
  • Double fertilization
    Russell, Russell
  • Sperm identification in maize by fluorescence in situ hybridization
    Shi, Shi; Zhu, Zhu; Mogensen, Mogensen; Keim, Keim

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