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Oscillatory Growth in Lily Pollen Tubes Does Not Require Aerobic Energy Metabolism

Caleb M. Rounds, Peter K. Hepler, Sasha J. Fuller and Lawrence J. Winship
Plant Physiology
Vol. 152, No. 2 (February 2010), pp. 736-746
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25680690
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Oscillatory Growth in Lily Pollen Tubes Does Not Require Aerobic Energy Metabolism
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Abstract

Oscillatory tip growth in pollen tubes depends on prodigious amounts of energy. We have tested the hypothesis that oscillations in the electron transport chain lead to growth oscillations in lily (Lilium formosanum). Using three respiratory inhibitors, oligomycin, antimycin A, and cyanide, we find that pollen tube growth is much less sensitive to respiratory inhibition than respiration is. All three block respiration at concentrations severalfold lower than necessary to inhibit growth. Mitochondrial NAD(P)H and potentiometric JC-1 fluorescence, employed as markers for electron transport chain activity, rise rapidly in response to oligomycin, as expected. Pollen tube growth stops for several minutes before resuming. Subsequent growth has a lower mean rate, but continues to oscillate, albeit with a longer period. NAD(P)H fluorescence no longer exhibits coherent oscillations, and mitochondria no longer congregate directly behind the apex: they distribute evenly throughout the cell. Postinhibition growth relies on aerobic fermentation for energy production as revealed by an increase in ethanol in the media. These data suggest that oscillatory growth depends not on a single oscillatory pacemaker but rather is an emergent property arising from a number of stable limit cycles.

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