skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "MacAlister, Cora A."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    In plant cells, linkage between the cytoskeleton, plasma membrane, and cell wall is crucial for maintaining cell shape. In highly polarized pollen tubes, this coordination is especially important to allow rapid tip growth and successful fertilization. Class I formins contain cytoplasmic actin-nucleating formin homology domains as well as a proline-rich extracellular domain and are candidate coordination factors. Here, using Arabidopsis, we investigated the functional significance of the extracellular domain of two pollen-expressed class I formins: AtFH3, which does not have a polar localization, and AtFH5, which is limited to the growing tip region. We show that the extracellular domain of both is necessary for their function, and identify distinct O-glycans attached to these sequences, AtFH5 being hydroxyproline-arabinosylated and AtFH3 carrying arabinogalactan chains. Loss of hydroxyproline arabinosylation altered the plasma membrane localization of AtFH5 and disrupted actin cytoskeleton organization. Moreover, we show that O-glycans differentially affect lateral mobility in the plasma membrane. Together, our results support a model of protein sub-functionalization in which AtFH5 and AtFH3, restricted to specific plasma membrane domains by their extracellular domains and the glycans attached to them, organize distinct subarrays of actin during pollen tube elongation.

     
    more » « less
  2. The cell wall of a mature pollen grain is a highly specialized, multilayered structure. The outer, sporopollenin-based exine provides protection and support to the pollen grain, while the inner intine, composed primarily of cellulose, is important for pollen germination. The formation of the mature pollen grain wall takes place within the anther with contributions of cell wall material from both the developing pollen grain as well as the surrounding cells of the tapetum. The process of wall development is complex; multiple cell wall polymers are deposited, some transiently, in a controlled sequence of events. Tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) is an important agricultural crop, which requires successful fertilization for fruit production as do many other members of the Solanaceae family. Despite the importance of pollen development for tomato, little is known about the detailed pollen gain wall developmental process. Here, we describe the structure of the tomato pollen wall and establish a developmental timeline of its formation. Mature tomato pollen is released from the anther in a dehydrated state and is tricolpate, with three long apertures without overlaying exine from which the pollen tube may emerge. Using histology and immunostaining, we determined the order in which key cell wall polymers were deposited with respect to overall pollen and anther development. Pollen development began in young flower buds when the premeiotic microspore mother cells (MMCs) began losing their cellulose primary cell wall. Following meiosis, the still conjoined microspores progressed to the tetrad stage characterized by a temporary, thick callose wall. Breakdown of the callose wall released the individual early microspores. Exine deposition began with the secretion of the sporopollenin foot layer. At the late microspore stage, exine deposition was completed and the tapetum degenerated. The pollen underwent mitosis to produce bicellular pollen; at which point, intine formation began, continuing through to pollen maturation. The entire cell wall development process was also punctuated by dynamic changes in pectin composition, particularly changes in methyl-esterified and de-methyl-esterified homogalacturonan. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    A wide range of proteins with diverse functions in development, defense, and stress responses are O -arabinosylated at hydroxyprolines (Hyps) within distinct amino acid motifs of continuous stretches of Hyps, as found in the structural cell wall extensins, or at non-continuous Hyps as, for example, found in small peptide hormones and a variety of plasma membrane proteins involved in signaling. Plant O -glycosylation relies on hydroxylation of Prolines to Hyps in the protein backbone, mediated by prolyl-4-hydroxylase (P4H) which is followed by O -glycosylation of the Hyp C 4 -OH group by either galactosyltransferases (GalTs) or arabinofuranosyltranferases (Ara f Ts) yielding either Hyp-galactosylation or Hyp-arabinosylation. A subset of the P4H enzymes with putative preference to hydroxylation of continuous prolines and presumably all Ara f T enzymes needed for synthesis of the substituted arabinose chains of one to four arabinose units, have been identified and functionally characterized. Truncated root-hair phenotype is one common denominator of mutants of Hyp formation and Hyp-arabinosylation glycogenes, which act on diverse groups of O -glycosylated proteins, e.g., the small peptide hormones and cell wall extensins. Dissection of different substrate derived effects may not be regularly feasible and thus complicate translation from genotype to phenotype. Recently, lack of proper arabinosylation on arabinosylated proteins has been shown to influence their transport/fate in the secretory pathway, hinting to an additional layer of functionality of O -arabinosylation. Here, we provide an update on the prevalence and types of O -arabinosylated proteins and the enzymatic machinery responsible for their modifications. 
    more » « less
  4. SUMMARY

    Pollen tubes (PTs) grow by the targeted secretion of new cell wall material to their expanding tip region. Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins promote membrane fusion through regulation of the SNARE complex. We have previously shown that disruption of protein glycosylation in theArabidopsis thaliana hpat1 hpat3double mutant leads to PT growth defects that can be suppressed by reducing secretion. Here, we identified five point mutant alleles of the SM proteinSEC1Aashpat1/3suppressors. The suppressors increased seed set, reduced PT growth defects and reduced the rate of glycoprotein secretion. In the absence of thehpatmutations,sec1areduced pollen germination and PT elongation producing shorter and wider PTs. Consistent with a defect in membrane fusion,sec1aPTs accumulated secretory vesicles. Thoughsec1ahad significantly reduced male transmission, homozygoussec1aplants maintained full seed set, demonstrating thatSEC1Awas ultimately dispensable for pollen fertility. However, when combined with a mutation in anotherSEC1‐likeSMgene,keule, pollen fertility was totally abolished. Mutation insec1b, the final member of the Arabidopsis SEC1 clade, did not enhance thesec1aphenotype. Thus, SEC1A is the major SM protein promoting pollen germination and tube elongation, but in its absence KEULE can partially supply this activity. When we examined the expression of the SM protein family in other species for which pollen expression data were available, we found that at least one Sec1‐like protein was highly expressed in pollen samples, suggesting a conserved role in pollen fertility in other species.

     
    more » « less
  5. Summary

    HYDROXYPROLINEO‐ARABINOSYLTRANSFERASEs (HPATs) initiate a post‐translational protein modification (Hyp‐Ara) found abundantly on cell wall structural proteins. InArabidopsis thaliana,HPAT1andHPAT3are redundantly required for full pollen fertility. In addition to the lack of Hyp‐Ara inhpat1/3pollen tubes (PTs), we also found broadly disrupted cell wall polymer distributions, particularly the conversion of the tip cell wall to a more shaft‐like state. Mutant PTs were slow growing and prone to rupture and morphological irregularities. In a forward mutagenesis screen for suppressors of thehpat1/3low seed‐set phenotype, we identified a missense mutation inexo70a2, a predicted member of the vesicle‐tethering exocyst complex. The suppressed pollen had increased fertility, fewer morphological defects and partially rescued cell wall organization. A transcriptional null allele ofexo70a2also suppressed thehpat1/3fertility phenotype, as did mutants of core exocyst complex membersec15a, indicating that reduced exocyst function bypassed the PT requirement for Hyp‐Ara. In a wild‐type background,exo70a2reduced male transmission efficiency, lowered pollen germination frequency and slowed PT elongation. EXO70A2 also localized to the PT tip plasma membrane, consistent with a role in exocyst‐mediated secretion. To monitor the trafficking of Hyp‐Ara modified proteins, we generated an HPAT‐targeted fluorescent secretion reporter. Reporter secretion was partially dependent onEXO70A2and was significantly increased inhpat1/3PTs compared with the wild type, but was reduced in the suppressedexo70a2 hpat1/3tubes.

     
    more » « less