Arabidopsis COBRA-LIKE 10, a GPI-anchored protein, mediates directional growth of pollen tubes

S. Li, F.R. Ge, M. Xu, X.Y. Zhao, G.Q. Huang, L.Z. Zhou, J.G. Wang, A. Kombrink, S. McCormick, X.S. Zhang, Y. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Successful reproduction of flowering plants requires constant communication between female tissues and growing pollen tubes. Female cells secrete molecules and peptides as nutrients or guidance cues for fast and directional tube growth, which is executed by dynamic changes of intracellular activities within pollen tubes. Compared with the extensive interest in female cues and intracellular activities of pollen tubes, how female cues are sensed and interpreted intracellularly in pollen is poorly understood. We show here that COBL10, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, is one component of this pollen tube internal machinery. Mutations in COBL10 caused gametophytic male sterility due to reduced pollen tube growth and compromised directional sensing in the female transmitting tract. Deposition of the apical pectin cap and cellulose microfibrils was disrupted in cobl10 pollen tubes. Pollen tube localization of COBL10 at the apical plasma membrane is critical for its function and relies on proper GPI processing and its C-terminal hydrophobic residues. GPI-anchored proteins are widespread cell sensors in mammals, especially during egg-sperm communication. Our results that COBL10 is critical for directional growth of pollen tubes suggest that they play critical roles in cell-cell communications in plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-497
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • male gametophyte development
  • oriented cell expansion
  • membrane-proteins
  • polarized growth
  • tip growth
  • in-vitro
  • thaliana
  • gene
  • guidance
  • encodes


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