Inhibition of actin polymerisation by low concentration Latrunculin B affects endocytosis and alters exocytosis in shank and tip of tobacco pollen tubes


  • Editor

A. Moscatelli, Dipartimento di Biologia L. Gorini, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 26, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Pollen tube growth depends on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton that regulates cytoplasmic streaming and secretion. To clarify whether actin also plays a role in pollen tube endocytosis, Latrunculin B (LatB) was employed in internalisation experiments with tobacco pollen tubes, using the lipophilic dye FM4-64 and charged nanogold. Time-lapse analysis and dissection of endocytosis allowed us to identify internalisation pathways with different sensitivity to LatB. Co-localisation experiments and ultrastructural observations using positively charged nanogold revealed that LatB significantly inhibited endocytosis in the pollen tube shank, affecting internalisation of the plasma membrane (PM) recycled for secretion, as well as that conveyed to vacuoles. In contrast, endocytosis of negatively charged nanogold in the tip, which is also conveyed to vacuoles, was not influenced. Experiments of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) of the apical and subapical PM revealed domains with different rates of fluorescence recovery and showed that these differences depend on the actin cytoskeleton integrity. These results show the presence of distinct degradation pathways by demonstrating that actin-dependent and actin-indepedent endocytosis both operate in pollen tubes, internalising tracts of PM to be recycled and broken down. Intriguingly, although most studies concentrate on exocytosis and distension in the apex, the present paper shows that uncharacterised, actin-dependent secretory activity occurs in the shank of pollen tubes.