Transcriptional Characteristics and Differences in Arabidopsis Stigmatic Papilla Cells Pre- and Post-Pollination

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Abstract

Pollination is an important early step in sexual plant reproduction. In Arabidopsis thaliana, sequential pollination events, from pollen adhesion onto the stigma surface to pollen tube germination and elongation, occur on the stigmatic papilla cells. Following successful completion of these events, the pollen tube penetrates the stigma and finally fertilizes a female gametophyte. The pollination events are thought to be initiated and regulated by interactions between papilla cells and pollen. Here, we report the characterization of gene expression profiles of unpollinated (UP), compatible pollinated (CP) and incompatible pollinated (IP) papilla cells in A. thaliana. Based on cell type-specific transcriptome analysis from a combination of laser microdissection and RNA sequencing, 15,475, 17,360 and 16,918 genes were identified as expressed in UP, CP and IP papilla cells, respectively, and, of these, 14,392 genes were present in all three data sets. Differentially expressed gene (DEG) analyses identified 147 and 71 genes up-regulated in CP and IP papilla cells, respectively, and 115 and 46 genes down-regulated. Gene Ontology and metabolic pathway analyses revealed that papilla cells play an active role as the female reproductive component in pollination, particularly in information exchange, signal transduction, internal physiological changes and external morphological modification. This study provides fundamental information on the molecular mechanisms involved in pollination in papilla cells, furthering our understanding of the reproductive role of papilla cells.

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