Polyspermy produces tri-parental seeds in maize

Grossniklaus, Ueli (December 2017) Polyspermy produces tri-parental seeds in maize. Current Biology, 27 (24). R1300-R1302. ISSN 0960-9822

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29257958
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.059


In flowering plants, two pairs of gametes participate in double fertilization. One of the two sperm delivered by the pollen tube (PT) fuses with the egg cell to form the zygote, whereas the second unites with the central cell to produce the endosperm [1]. Most animal species prevent polyspermy through a transient, fast block established by the depolarization of the egg membrane within milliseconds after encountering the first sperm, followed by a slow block generated through enzymatic changes in the extracellular matrix surrounding the egg [2]. Although in vitro fertilization experiments suggest that the maize zygote starts cell wall deposition within 30 seconds after fusion with a sperm [3], thereby preventing further fertilization events, it is unknown whether plant gametes prevent polyspermy by a fast block. Here, using a genetic approach, the absence of a fast block preventing polyspermy in the maize central cell is demonstrated. A putative polyspermy event involving the egg indicates the existence of tri-parental individuals, which may provide an alternative route to polyploidy, distinct from the one involving unreduced gametes.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > plant > maize
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Grossniklaus lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 18 December 2017
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 17:01
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2017 17:01
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/35729

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