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Transcriptional state and distribution of poly(A) RNA and RNA polymerase II in differentiating Hyacinthus orientalis L. pollen grains

Abstract

Spatial distribution of poly(A) RNA, hypophosphorylated Pol IIA, and hyperphosphorylated Pol IIO form of polymerase RNA II was characterized using immunofluorescence, immunogold and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques in relationship to transcriptional activity in the microspore and developing pollen of H. orientalis. During the course of pollen development our results reflected much higher transcriptional activity in the vegetative cell than in the generative cell. The highest levels of transcription in pollen cells were observed in young pollen grains, successively decreasing during pollen maturation, reaching a minimum just before anthesis. Levels of poly(A) RNA were higher in the vegetative cell than in the generative cell during all observed stages of pollen development. Accompanying physiological inhibition of the RNA synthesis in mature pollen cells was a strong accumulation of poly(A) RNA in the cytoplasm, especially in the vegetative cell. Alterations in transcriptional activity of differentiating pollen cells were accompanied by changes in the level and localization pattern of both forms of Pol II. During high transcriptional activity in the pollen nuclei, both forms of RNA Pol II occurred at the periphery of chromatin masses, as well as in the areas between them. A strong decrease in Pol IIO levels was observed in generative and vegetative nuclei as transcriptional activity of pollen cells apparently became inhibited. Finally, just before anthesis, an almost complete lack of the Pol IIO was observed in both pollen nuclei. In contrast, the level of Pol IIA significantly increased during the later stages of pollen development, in spite of apparent transcriptional inhibition in both pollen cells. This rich pool of the hypophosphorylated form of Pol II was located mainly over the central areas of condensed chromatin clumps, which was especially visible in the generative nucleus. Spatial and temporal aspects of RNA synthesis, including poly(A) RNA, as well as organization of transcriptional machinery appear to be closely related in developing pollen cells.

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Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the grant of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education no. No.N303 290434.

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Correspondence to Krzysztof Zienkiewicz.

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Communicated by Scott Russell.

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Zienkiewicz, K., Zienkiewicz, A., Smoliński, D.J. et al. Transcriptional state and distribution of poly(A) RNA and RNA polymerase II in differentiating Hyacinthus orientalis L. pollen grains. Sex Plant Reprod 21, 233–245 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00497-008-0085-9

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Keywords

  • Transcription
  • RNA polymerase II
  • Poly(A) RNA
  • Pollen grain
  • Hyacinthus orientalis