A 14-3-3 protein has been cloned and sequenced from a cDNA library constructed from mRNAs of mature pollen grains of Lilium longiflorum Thunb. Monoclonal antibodies (MUP 5 or MUP 15) highly specific against 14-3-3 proteins recognised a 30-kDa protein in the cytoplasmic fraction of many various lily tissues (leaves, bulbs, stems, anther filaments, pollen grains, stigmas) and in other plants (Arabidopsis seedlings, barley recombinant 14-3-3). In addition, 14-3-3 proteins were detected in a microsomal fraction isolated from pollen grains and tubes, and the amount of membrane-bound 14-3-3 proteins as well as the amount of the plasma membrane (PM) H+ ATPase increased during germination of pollen grains and tube growth. No change was observed in the cytoplasmic fraction. A further increase in the amount of 14-3-3 proteins in the microsomal fraction was observed when pollen grains were incubated in germination medium containing 1 microM fusicoccin (FC) whereas the number of 14-3-3s in the cytoplasmic fraction decreased. Fusicoccin also protected membrane-bound 14-3-3 proteins from dissociation after washing with the chaotropic salt KI. Furthermore, FC stimulated the PM H+ ATPase activity, the germination frequency and the growth rate of pollen tubes, thus indicating that a modulation of the PM H+ ATPase activity by interaction with 14-3-3 proteins may regulate germination and tube growth of lily pollen.