I have used cellular and molecular genetic and bioinformatic approaches to characterise the components of the pollen coat in plants of the family Brassicaceae, including Arabidopsis thaliana and several brassicas including Brassica napus, B. oleracea, and B. rapa. The pollen coat in these species is mostly made up of a unique mixture of lipids that is highly enriched in acylated compounds, such as sterol esters and phospholipids. These acyl lipids are characterised by an unusually high degree of saturation. The fatty acids typically contain 70-90% saturated acyl residues such as myristate, palmitate, and stearate. The major sterol components of the pollen coat are saturated fatty acyl esters of stigmasterol, campesterol, and campestdienol. In addition to lipids, the second major component of the pollen coat is a specific group of proteins that is dominated by a family of proteins that we term pollenins. Although pollenins are by far the major protein components of the pollen coat of members of the Brassicaceae, proteomic analysis reveals that there are several additional protein components, including lipases, protein kinases, a pectin esterase, and a caleosin. The biosynthesis of these lipids and proteins and their significance for overall pollen function are reviewed and discussed.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2006|
- Pollen coat
- Sterol ester