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The cysteine-rich peptides LUREs play an essential role in pollen tube attraction to the ovule for plant sexual reproduction. Here Zhang et al. show that PRK6 functions as a receptor of the LUREs in Arabidopsis thaliana and reveal the ligand recognition mechanism.
A reproductive barrier between japonica and indica rice subspecies hinders hybrid breeding. Here, the authors reveal that structural and copy number variations of a pollen-essential gene, which encodes a DUF1618-domain protein, result in allelic suppression and subsequently cause hybrid male sterility.
In Arabidopsis, the timing of floral meristem termination is determined by AGAMOUS. Here, the authors show that the CRC transcription factor, itself a direct target of AGAMOUS, coordinates meristem termination with subsequent gynoecium formation partly by repressing TRN2 expression and regulating auxin homeostasis.
The fertilization of an egg by more than one sperm is typically lethal. Here, via a novel reporter assay, Nakel et al. report the generation of triparental triploid Arabidopsis plants, implying that polyspermy is a plausible route toward polyploidy during plant evolution.
The time of flowering is important in crop production. Rice has now been genetically engineered to respond to agrochemical spraying, which results in floral induction. This research offers new perspectives to control the phenological development of crops in the field.
In 1916, Swedish geologist Ernst Jakob Lennart von Post delivered a provocative lecture in Oslo, Norway, advocating the use of pollen grains in bog sediments as indicators of past vegetation and climate. The lecture spawned many applications and represents a landmark in multidisciplinary science.