Acquisition of LURE-binding activity at the pollen tube tip of Torenia fournieri
Pollen tube guidance is controlled by multiple complex interactions with the female tissues. Here, we show that pollen tubes of Torenia fournieri are regulated by a stylar tissue in a length-dependent manner to receive and respond to attractant LURE peptides secreted from synergid cells. We developed an immunostaining method to visualize LURE peptides bound at the plasma membrane of the tip region of the pollen tube. Using this method, we found that LURE peptides bound specifically to pollen tubes growing through a cut style. The peptides also bound to pollen tubes growing through a shorter style, which were not competent to respond to these peptides. These observations suggested a possibility that acquisition of the LURE peptide reception ability and acquisition of full competency are separable processes. RNA-Seq suggested that the transcription profile of pollen tubes was affected by both the length of the style and the cultivation period, consistently with physiological changes in binding activity and LURE response ability. The database generated from de novo RNA-Seq of Torenia pollen tubes was shown to be useful to identify pollen tube proteins by mass spectrometry. Our studies provide insight and an effective platform for protein identification to understand pollen tube guidance. © 2013 The Author.