A pollen tube is a tubular structure produced by the male gametophyte of seed plants when it germinates. Pollen tube elongation is an integral stage in the plant life cycle. The pollen tube acts as a conduit to transport the male gamete cells from the pollen grain - either from the stigma (in flowering plants) to the ovules at the base of the pistil or directly through ovule tissue in some gymnosperms.
The microscopic tubes, which were first discovered in the early 1800s, are a crucial part of the reproductive cycle of all flowering plants.
Despite two centuries of study, the mechanisms which drive the pollen tube (PT) growth, and the ways in which the plants' female tissues accommodate the tube are currently unknown.
Although there have been several studies on PT elongation and molecular/chemical players involved in the process, the whole picture is far from complete. Moreover, mechanics of its elongation is poorly understood.
Source: Frontiers in Plant Science, 20 October 2020
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