The central cell withstands heat stress better than the egg and antipodal cells. Insilco analysis of transcriptomic data identified several heat responsive genes which are central cell specific.
Crop damage due to heat stress (HS) is a major cause of yield lost. Plants are particularly susceptible to negative effects of HS during gametophyte development and fertilization. Extensive studies have been performed on the male gametophyte under HS, but how the female gametophyte copes with HS is largely unknown. To learn how the different cell types of the female gametophyte reacts to HS, we studied unfertilized CDC123::H2B:YFP ovules. We found that the YFP-specific florescent signal persisted in the central cell during HS significantly more than the egg cell. We also found that the fluorescent signal persistence was the lowest in the antipodal cells. This finding suggests that the reaction of the female gametophyte to HS is rather unique and differentially mediated according to the cell’s identity. In addition, mining through published transcriptomic datasets we found that several important heat stress responsive genes which are extremely upregulated during HS (more than 64-fold) are specifically expressed in the CC but not in the EC. Further research such as comparative transcriptomics and cell biology will likely shed more light on the phenomena reported here and increase our basic understandings about the ways sexual reproduction processes are affected by heat stress.
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The authors wish to thank Prof. Venkatesan Sundaresan for the gift of CDC123::YFP seeds and Dr. Michal (Pellach) Leshem for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF-UGC Research Grant No. 2713/16).
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Communicated by Prem Bhalla.
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Ambastha, V., Leshem, Y. Differential cell persistence is observed in the Arabidopsis female gametophyte during heat stress. Plant Reprod 33, 111–116 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00497-020-00390-0
- Female gametophyte
- Heat stress
- Central cell
- Egg cell
- Antipodal cells