Arabinogalactan proteins 6 and 11 are required for stamen and pollen function in Arabidopsis


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Successful male reproductive function in plants is dependent on the correct development and functioning of stamens and pollen. AGP6 and AGP11 are two homologous Arabidopsis genes encoding cell wall-associated arabinogalactan glycoproteins (AGPs). Both genes were found to be specifically expressed in stamens, pollen grains and pollen tubes, suggesting that these genes may play a role in male organ development and function. RNAi lines with reduced AGP6 and AGP11 expression were generated. These, together with lines harboring point mutations in the coding region of AGP6, were used to show that loss of function in AGP6 and AGP11 led to reduced fertility, at least partly as a result of inhibition of pollen tube growth. Our results also suggest that AGP6 and AGP11 play an additional role in the release of pollen grains from the mature anther. Thus, our study demonstrates the involvement of specific AGPs in pollen tube growth and stamen function.