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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Actin polymerization is essential for pollen tube growth.

Actin microfilaments, which are prominent in pollen tubes, have been implicated in the growth process; however, their mechanism of action is not well understood. In the present work we have used profilin and DNAse I injections, as well as latrunculin B and cytochalasin D treatments, under quantitatively controlled conditions, to perturb actin microfilament structure and assembly in an attempt to answer this question. We found that a approximately 50% increase in the total profilin pool was necessary to half-maximally inhibit pollen tube growth, whereas a approximately 100% increase was necessary for half-maximal inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming. DNAse I showed a similar inhibitory activity but with a threefold more pronounced effect on growth than streaming. Latrunculin B, at only 1--4 nM in the growth medium, has a similar proportion of inhibition of growth over streaming to that of profilin. The fact that tip growth is more sensitive than streaming to the inhibitory substances and that there is no correlation between streaming and growth rates suggests that tip growth requires actin assembly in a process independent of cytoplasmic streaming.[1]


  1. Actin polymerization is essential for pollen tube growth. Vidali, L., McKenna, S.T., Hepler, P.K. Mol. Biol. Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
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