Laura K. Wilhelmi

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Recent work has revealed signaling molecules that control pollination, including small peptides that mediate pollen recognition and glycoproteins that support pollen tube growth. The polarized growth of pollen tubes requires a calcium-mediated signal cascade, and cues derived from the haploid and diploid ovule cells guide pollen tubes to the eggs.
We review the role of the extracellular matrix in transducing environmental signals, focusing on adhesion molecules in plants and animals. Plant reproduction is ideal for investigating cell-cell interactions; recently-describedArabidopsis thaliana mutants defective in cell adhesion during reproduction promise to illuminate unique cell signaling mechanisms.
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