Whole-Organ analysis of calcium behaviour in the developing pistil of olive (Olea europaea L.) as a tool for the determination of key events in sexual plant reproduction

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Background: The pistil is a place where multiple interactions between cells of different types, origin, and function occur. Ca2+is one of the key signal molecules in plants and animals. Despite the numerous studies on Ca2+signalling during pollen-pistil interactions, which constitute one of the main topics of plant physiology, studies on Ca2+dynamics in the pistil during flower formation are scarce. The purpose of this study was to analyze the contents and in situ localization of Ca2+at the whole-organ level in the pistil of olive during the whole course of flower development.Results: The obtained results showed significant changes in Ca2+levels and distribution during olive pistil development. In the flower buds, the lowest levels of detectable Ca2+were observed. As flower development proceeded, the Ca2+amount in the pistil successively increased and reached the highest levels just after anther dehiscence. When the anthers and petals fell down a dramatic but not complete drop in calcium contents occurred in all pistil parts. In situ Ca2+localization showed a gradual accumulation on the stigma, and further expansion toward the style and the ovary after anther dehiscence. At the post-anthesis phase, the Ca2+signal on the stigmatic surface decreased, but in the ovary a specific accumulation of calcium was observed only in one of the four ovules. Ultrastructural localization confirmed the presence of Ca2+in the intracellular matrix and in the exudate secreted by stigmatic papillae.Conclusions: This is the first report to analyze calcium in the olive pistil during its development. According to our results in situ calcium localization by Fluo-3 AM injection is an effective tool to follow the pistil maturity degree and the spatial organization of calcium-dependent events of sexual reproduction occurring in developing pistil of angiosperms. The progressive increase of the Ca2+pool during olive pistil development shown by us reflects the degree of pistil maturity. Ca2+distribution at flower anthesis reflects the spatio-functional relationship of calcium with pollen-stigma interaction, progamic phase, fertilization and stigma senescence. © 2011 Zienkiewicz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Zienkiewicz, K., Rejón, J. D., Suárez, C., Castro, A. J., de Dios Alché, J., & Rodríguez García, M. I. (2011). Whole-Organ analysis of calcium behaviour in the developing pistil of olive (Olea europaea L.) as a tool for the determination of key events in sexual plant reproduction. BMC Plant Biology, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-11-150

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