The molecular dialog between flowering plant reproductive partners defined by snp-informed rna-sequencing

Alexander R. Leydon, Caleb Weinreb, Elena Venable, Anke Reinders, John M. Ward, Mark A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The molecular interactions between reproductive cells are critical for determining whether sexual reproduction between individuals results in fertilization and can result in barriers to interspecific hybridization. However, it is a challenge to define the complete molecular exchange between reproductive partners because parents contribute to a complex mixture of cells during reproduction. We unambiguously defined male- and female-specific patterns of gene expression during Arabidopsis thaliana reproduction using single nucleotide polymorphism-informed RNA-sequencing analysis. Importantly, we defined the repertoire of pollen tube-secreted proteins controlled by a group of MYB transcription factors that are required for sperm release from the pollen tube to the female gametes, a critical barrier to interspecific hybridization. Our work defines the pollen tube gene products that respond to the pistil and are required for reproductive success; moreover, we find that these genes are highly evolutionarily plastic both at the level of coding sequence and expression across A. thaliana accessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-1006
Number of pages23
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mary Gehring (Whitehead Institute, MIT) for generous access to bioinformatic resources and Christoph Schorl (Brown University Genomics Core Facility) for RNA-sequencing. This work was funded by National Science Foundation Grant IOS-1353798.

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