Dr Barend HJ de Graaf
Telephone:+44(0)29 208 74766
Location:Cardiff School of Biosciences, Main Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Fertilization in higher plants is the result of a series of successful interactions between pollen and pistils of the same species. An understanding of pollen tube growth and the interactions of pollen and growing pollen tubes with the pistil is fundamental to basic plant sciences. Sexual reproduction in flowering plants involves species specific communication events. Upon pollen landing, pollen and pistil are being recognized as ‘own’ or ‘foreign’ which results in acceptance or rejection, respectively. After a successful pollination and compatible interaction between growing pollen tubes and several pistil tissues, fertilization occurs and portions of the pistil develop into a fruit containing the seeds. To date very little is known about which pollen and pistil proteins play a role in the communication between both partners during compatible pollen pistil interactions. Moreover, nothing is known about how male and female partners of different plant species discriminate between own and foreign. We investigate the mechanisms of pollen and pistil acceptance and rejection during plant reproduction by identifying pistil and pollen proteins involved in these processes. Furthermore we try to characterize pollen and pistil proteins that mediate successful pollen-pistil interactions and in a species specific manner.