Mosaicism in the organization of Con A binding sites on the membrane surface of female cells of Nicotiana tabacum

Authors

  • Fang Ke-Feng,

    1. Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Plant Developmental Biology, College of Life Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China;
    2. These authors contributed equally to this work
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  • Yan Ting-Ting,

    1. Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Plant Developmental Biology, College of Life Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China;
    2. These authors contributed equally to this work
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  • Sun Meng-Xiang

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Plant Developmental Biology, College of Life Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China;
    • Author for correspondence: Meng-Xiang Sun Tel: +86 27 87646170 Fax: +86 27 87646010 Email: mxsun@whu.edu.cn

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Summary

  • • The presence of mosaicism in the organization of concanavalin agglutinin (Con A) binding sites on murine egg cells was first reported 30 year ago. This discovery has triggered extensive studies into the roles of glycoproteins in gamete interactions in animals.
  • • This report comprises the first account of the existence of the mosaicism in higher plants.
  • • The distribution of Con A binding sites on both egg cells and central cells of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) was found to be polar and apparently determined by the location of the nucleus of the cell. On central cells, Con A binding sites were distributed on the section of the plasma membrane surface near the nucleus. By contrast, the binding sites on egg cells were concentrated away from the nucleus. Therefore, polarity of the plasma membrane component of female cells was confirmed for the first time.
  • • It is proposed that such polarized ConA binding sites could be involved in sperm recognition.

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