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   Location:Home > Research > Research Progress
Study provides new insights into crucial role of QUA QUINE STARCH in promoting pollen development
Author: Luo Landi
Update time: 2024-07-09
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In flowering plants, pollen formation and subsequent pollen tube growth and fertilization play a key role in plant fertility, and the proper development and maturation of pollen not only have an important impact on the genetic diversity of seed plants but also play an important role in agricultural crop production. The emergence of orphan genes in plants may be the result of continuous adaptation to the environment, and their functions may promote plant survival.  

In recent years, the role of Arabidopsis thaliana-specific orphan gene Qua Quine Starch (QQS) in plant development and environmental adaptation has received increasing attention. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which QQS regulates pollen development and how transcriptional activators promote QQS transcription during this process. 

In a study published in Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) revealed the important role of INDUCER OF CBF EXPRESSION 1 (ICE1) as a transcriptional activator in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen development, especially how it improved the germination rate and vitality of pollen by positively regulating the expression of QQS. They also elucidated the mechanism of promoting QQS transcription in the key developmental process. 

The researchers proposed a research method to explore the mechanism of ICE1 in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen development through genetic and biochemical experiments. They focused on how QQS in plants affected sexual reproductive success by regulating pollen development. Specifically, they addressed the role of a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, ICE1, in QQS expression and pollen viability.  

They found that ICE1 positively regulated the expression of QQS by interacting with IDD14 (INDETERMINATE DOMAIN14), thereby increasing pollen germination and viability in Arabidopsis thaliana. They also found that QQS promoted CUT1(a key enzyme for long-chain lipid biosynthesis) activity and regulated pollen lipid metabolism by interaction, which ultimately determined the water retention capacity and fertility of pollen. 

"Our results not only provide new insights into the crucial role of QQS in promoting pollen development by regulating pollen lipid metabolism but also elucidate the mechanism underlying the promotion of QQS transcription during this important developmental process, said YANG Yongping of XTBG. 



YANG Yongping  Principal Investigator 

Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun 666303, Yunnan, China    

E-mail: yangyp@xtbg.ac.cn     

First published: 28 June 2024   

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Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
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