Rapid Elimination of the Persistent Synergid through a Cell Fusion Mechanism

Daisuke Maruyama, Ronny Volz, Hidenori Takeuchi, Toshiyuki Mori, Tomoko Igawa, Daisuke Kurihara, Tomokazu Kawashima, Minako Ueda, Masaki Ito, Masaaki Umeda, Shuhichi Nishikawa, Rita Groß-Hardt, Tetsuya Higashiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


In flowering plants, fertilization-dependent degeneration of the persistent synergid cell ensures one-on-one pairings of male and female gametes. Here, we report that the fusion of the persistent synergid cell and the endosperm selectively inactivates the persistent synergid cell in Arabidopsis thaliana. The synergid-endosperm fusion causes rapid dilution of pre-secreted pollen tube attractant in the persistent synergid cell and selective disorganization of the synergid nucleus during the endosperm proliferation, preventing attractions of excess number of pollen tubes (polytubey). The synergid-endosperm fusion is induced by fertilization of the central cell, while the egg cell fertilization predominantly activates ethylene signaling, an inducer of the synergid nuclear disorganization. Therefore, two female gametes (the egg and the central cell) control independent pathways yet coordinately accomplish the elimination of the persistent synergid cell by double fertilization. Two female gametes (the egg cell and the central cell) in flowering plants coordinately prevent attractions of excess number of pollen tubes via two mechanisms to inactivate persistent synergid cell. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-918
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2015

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank T. Kinoshita, S. McCormick, F. Berger, G.N. Drews, and T. Naka-gawa for the materials, N. Iwata, T. Nishii, and T.M. Vu for assistance in preparing materials, S. Tiedemann for genetic analysis, and A. Schnittger for discussions. F. Berger also provided useful comments on the manuscript. D.M. was supported by the Global Center of Excellence program (Nagoya University). D.M. and H.T. were supported by grants 6526 and 5834 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships, respectively. This work was supported in part by Japan Advanced Plant Science Network and by a grant from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (ERATO project to T.H.).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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