Dynamic F-actin movement is essential for fertilization in Arabidopsis thaliana


In animals, microtubules and centrosomes direct the migration of gamete pronuclei for fertilization. By contrast, flowering plants have lost essential components of the centrosome, raising the question of how flowering plants control gamete nuclei migration during fertilization. Here, we use Arabidopsis thaliana to document a novel mechanism that regulates F-actin dynamics in the female gametes and is essential for fertilization. Live imaging shows that F-actin structures assist the male nucleus during its migration towards the female nucleus. We identify a female gamete-specific Rho-GTPase that regulates F-actin dynamics and further show that actin-myosin interactions are also involved in male gamete nucleus migration. Genetic analyses and imaging indicate that microtubules are dispensable for migration and fusion of male and female gamete nuclei. The innovation of a novel actin-based mechanism of fertilization during plant evolution might account for the complete loss of the centrosome in flowering plants.

DOI: 10.7554/eLife.04501

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@inproceedings{Kawashima2014DynamicFM, title={Dynamic F-actin movement is essential for fertilization in Arabidopsis thaliana}, author={Tomokazu Kawashima and Daisuke Maruyama and Murat Shagirov and Jing Li and Yuki Hamamura and Ramesh Yelagandula and Yusuke Toyama and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Berger}, booktitle={eLife}, year={2014} }