The Plant cell

Cytochemical Analysis of Pollen Development in Wild-Type Arabidopsis and a Male-Sterile Mutant.

PMID 12354970


Microsporogenesis has been examined in wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and the nuclear male-sterile mutant BM3 by cytochemical staining. The mutant lacks adenine phosphoribosyltransferase, an enzyme of the purine salvage pathway that converts adenine to AMP. Pollen development in the mutant began to diverge from wild type just after meiosis, as the tetrads of microspores were released from their callose walls. The first indication of abnormal pollen development in the mutant was a darker staining of the microspore wall due to an incomplete synthesis of the intine. Vacuole formation was delayed and irregular in the mutant, and the majority of the mutant microspores failed to undergo mitotic divisions. Enzyme activities of alcohol dehydrogenase and esterases decreased in the mutant soon after meiosis and were undetectable in mature pollen grains of the mutant. RNA accumulation was also diminished. These results are discussed in relation to the possible role(s) of adenine salvage in pollen development.