Pollen are vital to plant reproduction as they contain the sperm cells that will fertilize the egg cell of the plant. To transport its content towards the egg cell, the pollen grain forms a tube that must pierce through the papillae on top of the pistil, through the transmission tract towards the ovules. In doing so, the pollen tube must generate enormous mechanical stresses to penetrate the flower tissues, during which it is exposed to a range of different mechanical stimuli. It has been shown that the pollen tubes adapt their growth to the mechanics of its environment in vitro and that this correlates with the mechanical properties of the plant tissue that it has to grow through in vivo. However, how the pollen tube, or plant cells in general, are able to sense mechanical forces and convert this into downstream responses, remains unclear. During this study, we aim to understand the mechano-perception and -adaptation machinery pollen tubes use to successfully reach their targets.
|Effective start/end date
|1/06/22 → …
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