Sexual Plant Reproduction

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 39–60 | Cite as

Wide-scale screening of T-DNA lines for transcription factor genes affecting male gametophyte development in Arabidopsis

  • David Reňák
  • Nikoleta Dupl’áková
  • David HonysEmail author
Original Article


Male gametophyte development leading to the formation of a mature pollen grain is precisely controlled at various levels, including transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational, during its whole progression. Transcriptomic studies exploiting genome-wide microarray technologies revealed the uniqueness of pollen transcriptome and the dynamics of early and late successive global gene expression programs. However, the knowledge of transcription regulation is still very limited. In this study, we focused on the identification of pollen-expressed transcription factor (TF) genes involved in the regulation of male gametophyte development. To achieve this, the reverse genetic approach was used. Seventy-four T-DNA insertion lines were screened, representing 49 genes of 21 TF families active in either early or late pollen development. In the screen, ten phenotype categories were distinguished, affecting various structural or functional aspects, including pollen abortion, presence of inclusions, variable pollen grain size, disrupted cell wall structure, cell cycle defects, and male germ unit organization. Thirteen lines were not confirmed to contain the T-DNA insertion. Among 61 confirmed lines, about half (29 lines) showed strong phenotypic changes (i.e., ≥25% aberrant pollen) including four lines that produced a remarkably high proportion (70–100%) of disturbed pollen. However, the remaining 32 lines exhibited mild defects or resembled wild-type appearance. There was no significant bias toward any phenotype category among early and late TF genes, nor, interestingly, within individual TF families. Presented results have a potential to serve as a basal information resource for future research on the importance of respective TFs in male gametophyte development.


Male gametophyte Transcription factor T-DNA insertion line Phenotype screen Pollen phenotypic defects 



Bicellular pollen


Male germ unit


Mature pollen grain


Syngenta Arabidopsis insertion library


Tricellular pollen


Transcription factor


Unicellular microspore


Zinc finger protein



This work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (KJB600380701), the Czech Science Foundation (522/09/0858) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (OC10054).

Supplementary material

497_2011_178_MOESM1_ESM.xls (66 kb)
Supplementary Table 1. Expression values and detection calls of selected genes in male gametophytic and sporophytic tissues. Sporophytic datasets were downloaded from the aGFP database (Dupl’áková et al. 2007). Gametophytic datasets were downloaded from public repositories and correspond to following publications: Honys (Honys and Twell, 2004), Pina (Pina et al., 2005), Zimmermann, (Zimmermann et al., 2004), Borges (Borges et al., 2008), Qin (Qin et al., 2009), and Wang (Wang et al. 2008a, 2008b). Datasets are labeled as follows: UNM, uninucleate microspore; BCP, bicellular pollen; TCP, tricellular pollen; MPG, mature pollen grain; SPC, sperm cell; GP30, pollen germinated for 30 min; GP45, pollen germinated for 45 min; PT4, pollen tubes grown in vitro for 4 h; PT8, semi in vitro cultivated pollen tubes – 3 h in pistil, 5h in vitro; SL, seedlings; WP, whole plant; LF, leaves; PT, petiole; ST, stem; RT, roots; RH, root hair elongation zone; SU, suspension cell cultures. (XLS 66 kb)
497_2011_178_MOESM2_ESM.doc (96 kb)
Supplementary Table 2. The complete list of 49 early and late TF genes and corresponding 74 T-DNA insertion lines with marked position of insertion sites and sequence of the appropriate F and R PCR primers. (DOC 96 kb)
497_2011_178_MOESM3_ESM.doc (146 kb)
Supplementary Table 3. Summary of pollen phenotype of segregated wild-type plants in the progeny of heterozygous plants (self-cross) for respective T-DNA lines.. The numbers represent the percent proportion of pollen phenotypic defects observed in each phenotype category.(DOC 146 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Reňák
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nikoleta Dupl’áková
    • 1
  • David Honys
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Pollen BiologyInstitute of Experimental Botany ASCRPrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Plant Physiology and Anatomy, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Plant Experimental Biology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic

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