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The pollen coat, which forms on the pollen surface, consists of a lipid-protein matrix. It protects pollen from desiccation and is involved in adhesion, pollen-stigma recognition, and pollen hydration during interactions with the stigma. The classical methods used for pollen coat observation are scanning and transmission electron microscopy. In this work, we screened a collection of fluorescence dyes and identified two fluorescent brighteners FB-52 and FB-184. When they were used together with the exine-specific dye, Basic fuchsin, the pollen coat and the exine structures could be clearly visualized in the pollen of Brassica napus. This co-staining method was applied successfully in staining pollen from Fraxinus chinensis, Calystegia hederacea, and Petunia hybrida. Using this method, small pollen coat-containing cavities were detected in the outer pollen wall layer of Oryza sativa and Zea mays. We further showed these dyes are compatible with fluorescent protein markers. In the Arabidopsis thaliana transgenic line of GFP-tagged pollen coat protein GRP19, GRP19-GFP was observed to form particles at the periphery of pollen coat. This simple staining method is expected to be widely used for the studies of the palynology as well as the pollen-stigma interaction.

Citation

Xin-Lei Jia, Jing-Shi Xue, Fang Zhang, Chi Yao, Shi-Yi Shen, Chang-Xu Sui, Yu-Jia Peng, Qin-Lin Xu, Yi-Feng Feng, Wen-Jing Hu, Ping Xu, Zhong-Nan Yang. A dye combination for the staining of pollen coat and pollen wall. Plant reproduction. 2021 Jun;34(2):91-101


PMID: 33903950

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