Callose synthase (CalS5) is required for exine formation during microgametogenesis and for pollen viability in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2005 May;42(3):315-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2005.02379.x.


Callose (beta-1,3-glucan) is produced at different locations in response to biotic and abiotic cues. Arabidopsis contains 12 genes encoding callose synthase (CalS). We demonstrate that one of these genes, CalS5, encodes a callose synthase which is responsible for the synthesis of callose deposited at the primary cell wall of meiocytes, tetrads and microspores, and the expression of this gene is essential for exine formation in pollen wall. CalS5 encodes a transmembrane protein of 1923 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 220 kDa. Knockout mutations of the CalS5 gene by T-DNA insertion resulted in a severe reduction in fertility. The reduced fertility in the cals5 mutants is attributed to the degeneration of microspores. However, megagametogenesis is not affected and the female gametes are completely fertile in cals5 mutants. The CalS5 gene is also expressed in other organs with the highest expression in meiocytes, tetrads, microspores and mature pollen. Callose deposition in the cals5 mutant was nearly completely lacking, suggesting that this gene is essential for the synthesis of callose in these tissues. As a result, the pollen exine wall was not formed properly, affecting the baculae and tectum structure and tryphine was deposited randomly as globular structures. These data suggest that callose synthesis has a vital function in building a properly sculpted exine, the integrity of which is essential for pollen viability.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Pollen / metabolism*
  • Pollen / ultrastructure


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CalS5 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • 1,3-beta-glucan synthase