F-Actin Visualization in Generative and Sperm Cells of Living Pollen of Rice Using a GFP-Mouse Talin Fusion Protein
XU Shi-Xiong (S Y Zee), YE Xiu-Lin, WANG Ling-Jian, QIU Zhi-Ping (C P Yau), YE Yong-Jian (W K Yip) ( Department of Botany, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; South China Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China; State Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China)
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to the F-actin binding domain of mouse talin labels the actin cytoskeleton in the living generative and sperm cells of a third generation transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L) plant, A005-G-T1-2. Observations were made on pollen at four major developmental stages, viz. Ⅰ. uni-nucleate microspore stage; Ⅱ. early bi-cellular pollen stage; Ⅲ. late bi-cellular pollen stage; and Ⅳ. tri-cellular pollen stage. At each of these developmental stages vegetative nucleus, generative nucleus/ cell, and sperm cells were seen undergoing continuous and coordinated motion and migration. These movements seemed to be influenced by associated microfilament networks existing in the pollen. Based on these observations we propose that it is the interaction between the microfilament networks (usually one existing in the central cytoplasm and another in the cortex) that controls the dynamic movement of the vegetative nucleus, generative nucleus/cell and sperm cells. Furthermore, we have also observed that there is an array of microfilaments (oriented mostly parallel to the long axis of the cell) existing in the generative and sperm cells. As far as we are aware, this is the first report showing the existence of microfilaments in living generative and sperm cells of rice pollen. The implication and significance of the existence of microfilaments in generative and sperm cells in rendering self-propelled motion of these cells in relation to their passage and movement in the pollen tube and embryo sac for fertilization were discussed.