, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 251-260,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 Jul 2011

Arabidopsis AtVPS15 is essential for pollen development and germination through modulating phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate formation

Abstract

Arabidopsis thaliana phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (AtVPS34) functions in the development and germination of pollen by catalyzing the biosynthesis of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P). In yeast, Vps15p is required for the membrane targeting and activity of Vps34. The expression of Arabidopsis thaliana VPS15 (AtVPS15), an ortholog of yeast Vps15, is mainly detected in pollen grains and pollen tubes. To determine its role in pollen development and pollen tube growth, we attempted to isolate the T-DNA insertion mutants of AtVPS15; however, homozygous lines of atvps15 were not obtained from the progeny of atvps15/+ heterozygotes. Genetic analysis revealed that the abnormal segregation is due to the failure of transmission of the atvps15 allele through pollen. Most pollen grains from the atvps15/+ genotype are viable, with normal exine structure and nuclei, but some mature pollen grains are characterized with unusual large vacuoles that are not observed in pollen grains from the wild AtVPS15 genotype. The germination ratio of pollen from the atvps15/+ genotype is about half when compared to that from the wild AtVPS15 genotype. When supplied with PI3P, in vitro pollen germination of the atvps15/+ genotype is greatly improved. Presumably, AtVPS15 functions in pollen development and germination by regulating PI3P biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.