Journal Article

Calcium Crystals in the Anther of <i>Petunia</i>: the Existence and Biological Significance in the Pollination Process

Megumi Iwano, Tetsuyuki Entani, Hiroshi Shiba, Seiji Takayama and Akira Isogai

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 1, pages 40-47
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pch004
Calcium Crystals in the Anther of Petunia: the Existence and Biological Significance in the Pollination Process

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Using an X-ray microanalysis system fitted with variable-pressure scanning electron microscopy, we noted that many calcium crystals accumulated under the stomium in the anther of Petunia. When the anther was dehisced and pollen grains were released from the stomata, the calcium crystals adhered to pollen grains and moved to the stigma together with pollen grains. In contrast, an X-ray microanalysis of the stigma surface before pollination detected no calcium emission on the stigma surface. Furthermore, pollen germination and pollen tube growth in medium without Ca occurred as in complete medium. However, after the pollen grains had been washed with abundant germination medium without calcium, pollen germination in the medium without Ca was inhibited. These results show that the calcium crystals dissolved in the aqueous drop under the exudate on the stigma and supplied calcium ions for pollen germination. In addition, calcium crystals were produced not only in the anther of Petunia but also in Nicotiana, suggesting that calcium crystals supply pollen grains with the calcium ions required for pollen germination and serve to improve reproduction efficiency in Solanaceae.

Keywords: Keywords: Calcium — Petunia — Pollen growth — Variable-pressure SEM — X-ray microanalysis.; Abbreviations: LM, light microscopy; MES, 2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid; SI, self-incompatibility; VP-SEM, variable-pressure scanning electron microscopy.

Journal Article.  4136 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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