alexa Gametophytic vs. sporophytic control of pollen aperture number: a generational conflict.
General Science

General Science

Forest Research: Open Access

Author(s): TillBottraud I, Gouyon PH, Ressayre A, Godelle B

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Abstract In flowering plants, the haploid phase is reduced to the pollen grain and embryo sac. These reproductive tissues (gametophytes) are actually distinct individuals that have a different genome from the plant (sporophyte), and are more or less independent. The morphology of pollen grains, particularly the openings permitting pollen tube germination (apertures), is crucial for determining the outcome of pollen competition. Many species of flowering plants simultaneously produce pollen grains with different aperture numbers in a single individual (heteromorphism). In this paper, we show that the heteromorphic pollen aperture pattern depends on the genetic control of pollen morphogenesis. This points out a conflict of interest between genes expressed in the sporophyte and genes expressed in the gametophyte. More generally, such a conflict should exist whenever heteromorphism is an ESS resulting from a bet-hedging strategy. For pollen aperture, heteromorphism has been observed in about 40\% of angiosperm species, suggesting that conflicting situations are the rule. In this context, the sporo-gametophytic conflict could be one of the factors that led to the reduction of the haploid phase in plants. 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved This article was published in Theor Popul Biol and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access

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