Two Expansin Genes, AtEXPA4 and AtEXPB5, Are Redundantly Required for Pollen Tube Growth and AtEXPA4 Is Involved in Primary Root Elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana.


Liu W(1)(2), Xu L(1)(2), Lin H(3), Cao J(1)(2)(4).
Author information:
(1)Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, Institute of Vegetable Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.
(2)Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development and Quality Improvement, Ministry of Agriculture, Hangzhou 310058, China.
(3)Crop Research Institute, Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Fuzhou 350013, China.
(4)Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Integrative Biology, Hangzhou 310058, China.


The growth of plant cells is inseparable from relaxation and expansion of cell walls. Expansins are a class of cell wall binding proteins, which play important roles in the relaxation of cell walls. Although there are many members in expansin gene family, the functions of most expansin genes in plant growth and development are still poorly understood. In this study, the functions of two expansin genes, AtEXPA4 and AtEXPB5 were characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana. AtEXPA4 and AtEXPB5 displayed consistent expression patterns in mature pollen grains and pollen tubes, but AtEXPA4 also showed a high expression level in primary roots. Two single mutants, atexpa4 and atexpb5, showed normal reproductive development, whereas atexpa4atexpb5 double mutant was defective in pollen tube growth. Moreover, AtEXPA4 overexpression enhanced primary root elongation, on the contrary, knocking out AtEXPA4 made the growth of primary root slower. Our results indicated that AtEXPA4 and AtEXPB5 were redundantly involved in pollen tube growth and AtEXPA4 was required for primary root elongation.