植物细胞(THE PLANT CELL)2013-09-05 2:57 AM

The Classical Arabinogalactan Protein AGP18 Mediates Megaspore Selection in Arabidopsis

Female gametogenesis in most flowering plants depends on the predetermined selection of a single meiotically derived cell, as the three other megaspores die without further division or differentiation. Although in Arabidopsis thaliana the formation of the functional megaspore (FM) is crucial for the establishment of the gametophytic generation, the mechanisms that determine the specification and fate of haploid cells remain unknown. Here, we show that the classical arabinogalactan protein 18 (AGP18) exerts an active regulation over the selection and survival of megaspores in Arabidopsis. During meiosis, AGP18 is expressed in integumentary cells located in the abaxial region of the ovule. Overexpression of AGP18 results in the abnormal maintenance of surviving megaspores that can acquire a FM identity but is not sufficient to induce FM differentiation before meiosis, indicating that AGP18 positively promotes the selection of viable megaspores. We also show that all four meiotically derived cells in the ovule of Arabidopsis are competent to differentiate into a gametic precursor and that the function of AGP18 is important for their selection and viability. Our results suggest an evolutionary role for arabinogalactan proteins in the acquisition of monospory and the developmental plasticity that is intrinsic to sexual reproduction in flowering plants.

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