During fertilization, many genes involved in seed and fruit development are activated. Some of these genes are even activated before pollen tubes reach the ovules, that is, even before fertilization takes place. These genes must therefore react to cues other than fertilization, and some of these cues are generated during pollen tube growth in the style’s transmitting tissue, either from the pollen itself, from the interaction between the pollen and the pistil, or from cell death in the style’s transmitting tissue that occurs during the pollen tube growth. We have been able to show that for some genes, long distance activation is the consequence of the production of volatile compounds, like jasmonates, that are produced during the growth of the pollen tube in the style (1). These volatile compounds have generally been associated with plant wound response to insects or phytopathogenous microorganisms. We have also shown that small secreted peptides that could act as ligands play a role in both the control of self-incompatibility and floral senescence (2).
- Lantin, S. O’Brien, M. and Matton, D. P. 1999. Pollination, wounding, and jasmonates treatments induce the expression of a developmentally regulated pistil dioxygenase at a distance in the ovary in the wild potato Solanum chacoense. Plant Molecular Biology 41: 371-386.
- O’Brien, M., Kapfer, C., Major, G., Laurin, M., Bertrand, C., Kondo, K., Kowyama, Y., and Matton, D. P. 2002. Molecular analysis of the stylar-expressed Solanum chacoense small asparagine-rich protein family related to the HT modifier of gametophytic self-incompatibility in Nicotiana. Plant Journal 32: 985-996.