A pharmacological study of Arabidopsis cell fusion between the persistent synergid and endosperm

Kazuki Motomura, Tomokazu Kawashima, Frédéric Berger, Tetsu Kinoshita, Tetsuya Higashiyama, Daisuke Maruyama

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5 Scopus citations


Cell fusion is a pivotal process in fertilization and multinucleate cell formation. A plant cell is ubiquitously surrounded by a hard cell wall, and very few cell fusions have been observed except for gamete fusions. We recently reported that the fertilized central cell (the endosperm) absorbs the persistent synergid, a highly differentiated cell necessary for pollen tube attraction. The synergid-endosperm fusion (SE fusion) appears to eliminate the persistent synergid from fertilized ovule in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we analyzed the effects of various inhibitors on SE fusion in an in vitro culture system. Different from other cell fusions, neither disruption of actin polymerization nor protein secretion impaired SE fusion. However, transcriptional and translational inhibitors decreased the SE fusion success rate and also inhibited endosperm division. Failures of SE fusion and endosperm nuclear proliferation were also induced by roscovitine, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK). These data indicate unique aspects of SE fusion such as independence of filamentous actin support and the importance of CDK-mediated mitotic control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjcs.204123
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Y. Sato for technical support for imaging and comments on the manuscript, S. Nishikawa for the pAGL80::tagRFP-TUA5 marker, D. Kurihara for pRPS5A::H2B-tdTomato, M. Z. Lin for pcDNA3-Clover, and T. Sasaki and H. Shikata for advising on chemical treatment. Most of this work was conducted at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM) at Nagoya University, supported by the Japan Advanced Plant Science Network.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI (16J02257, 15K14541, 16H06465, 16H06173 and 17H05846) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (ERATO project to T.H.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


  • Double fertilization
  • Endosperm
  • Pollen tube
  • Polytubey block
  • Synergid endosperm fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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