Pump up the volume - a central role for the plasma membrane H(+) pump in pollen germination and tube growth

Protoplasma. 2014 May;251(3):477-88. doi: 10.1007/s00709-013-0555-2. Epub 2013 Oct 5.


The plasma membrane H(+) ATPase is a member of the P-ATPase family transporting H(+) from the cytosol to the extracellular space and thus energizing the plasma membrane for the uptake of ions and nutrients. As a housekeeping gene, this protein can be detected in almost every plant cell including the exclusive expression of specific isoforms in pollen grains and tubes where its activity is a prerequisite for successful germination and growth of pollen tubes. This review summarizes the current knowledge on pollen PM H(+) ATPases and hypothesizes a central role for pollen-specific isoforms of this protein in tube growth. External as well as cytosolic signals from signal transduction and metabolic pathways are integrated by the PM H(+) ATPase and directly translated to tube growth rates, allocating the PM H(+) ATPase to an essential node in the signalling network of pollen tubes in their race to the ovule.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Germination
  • Models, Molecular
  • Plant Development
  • Plants / enzymology*
  • Pollen / enzymology*
  • Pollen / metabolism*
  • Pollen Tube / enzymology*
  • Pollen Tube / growth & development*
  • Pollination
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / chemistry
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism*


  • Proton-Translocating ATPases