ROP GTPase regulation of pollen tube growth through the dynamics of tip-localized F-actin

J Exp Bot. 2003 Jan;54(380):93-101. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erg035.


Pollen tubes expand by tip growth and extend directionally toward the ovule to deliver sperms during pollination. They provide an excellent model system for the study of cell polarity control and tip growth, because they grow into uniformly shaped cylindrical cells in culture. Mechanisms underlying tip growth are poorly understood in pollen tubes. It has been demonstrated that ROP1, a pollen-specific member of the plant-specific Rop subfamily of Rho GTPases, is a central regulator of pollen tube tip growth. Recent studies in pollen from Arabidopsis and other species have revealed a ROP-mediated signalling network that is localized to the apical PM region of pollen tubes. The results provide evidence that the localization of this signalling network establishes the site for tip growth and the localized activation of this signalling network regulates the dynamics of tip F-actin. These results have shown that the ROP1-mediated dynamics of tip F-actin is a key cellular mechanism behind tip growth in pollen tubes. Current understanding of the molecular basis for the regulation of the tip actin dynamics will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Flowers / enzymology
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Pollen / enzymology
  • Pollen / genetics
  • Pollen / growth & development
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Calcium