Rice Importin β1 gene affects pollen tube elongation

Mol Cells. 2011 Jun;31(6):523-30. doi: 10.1007/s10059-011-2321-7. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


Importin β1 interacts with nuclear transport factors and mediates the import of nuclear proteins. We isolated a pollen-expressed gene, rice Importin β1 (OsImpβ1), from a T-DNA insertional population that was trapped by a promoterless β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene. The GUS reporter was expressed in the anthers and ovaries from early through mature developmental stages. Its expression was also observed in all floral organs. However, these patterns changed as the spikelet developed. T-DNA was inserted into the OsImpβ1 gene at 339 bp downstream from the translation initiation site. We obtained another T-DNA insertional allele by searching the flanking sequence tag database. In both lines, the wild-type and T-DNA-carrying progeny segregated at a ratio close to 1:1. The latter genotype was heterozygous (OsImpβ1/osimpβ1). Reciprocal crosses between WT and heterozygous plants demonstrated that the mutant alleles could not be transmitted through the male gametophyte. Close examination of the heterozygous anthers revealed that the mutant pollen matured normally. However, in vitro assays showed that tube elongation was hampered in the mutant grains. These results indicate that OsImpβ1 is specifically required for pollen tube elongation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Fertilization / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genotype
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Pollen / genetics
  • Pollen / growth & development
  • Pollen Tube / genetics
  • Pollen Tube / growth & development*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • beta Karyopherins / genetics*
  • beta Karyopherins / metabolism


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • T-DNA
  • beta Karyopherins