A novel male-sterile mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, faceless pollen-1, produces pollen with a smooth surface and an acetolysis-sensitive exine

Plant Mol Biol. 2003 Sep;53(1-2):107-16. doi: 10.1023/B:PLAN.0000009269.97773.70.


A mutant exhibiting conditional male sterility, in which fertility was restored under conditions of high humidity, was identified in T-DNA tagged lines of Arabidopsis thaliana. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrated that the pollen surface was almost smooth and the reticulate pattern not prominent. Thus, the mutant was named faceless pollen-1 (flp1). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the smooth appearance was due to tryphine filling in the exine cavities and covering the pollen surface. The lipid droplets in the tryphine of mutant pollen were smaller and more numerous than those of the wild type. SEM analysis also demonstrated that pollen exine was easily damaged by acetolysis, suggesting that a component of exine, sporopollenin, was defective in the mutant. In addition, the stems and siliques had reduced amounts of wax crystals. A predicted amino acid sequence of the cDNA that corresponded to the tagged gene, fip1, showed sequence similarity to proteins involved in wax biosynthesis. The FLP1 protein is likely to play a role in the synthesis of the components of tryphine, sporopollenin of exine and the wax of stems and siliques.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Humidity
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Plant Stems / genetics
  • Plant Stems / metabolism
  • Pollen / drug effects
  • Pollen / growth & development*
  • Pollen / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Waxes / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Lipids
  • Waxes
  • faceles pollen-1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • tryphine
  • Acetic Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB099512