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Pollen and Pollen Tube Biology Methods and Protocols

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (non peer-reviewed)
Author Burri Jan T., Munglani Gautam, Nelson Bradley J., Grossniklaus Ueli, Vogler Hannes,
Project Mechanical Basis for the Convergent Evolution of Sensory Hairs in Animals and Plants
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Contribution to book (non peer-reviewed)

Book Pollen and Pollen Tube Biology
Editor , Geitmann Anja
Publisher Springer US, New York NY
Page(s) 275 - 292
ISBN 978-1-0716-0671-1
Title of proceedings Pollen and Pollen Tube Biology
DOI 10.1007/978-1-0716-0672-8_20


Pollen tubes face many obstacles on their way to the ovule. They have to decide whether to navigate around cells or penetrate the cell wall and grow through it or even within it. Besides chemical sensing, which directs the pollen tubes on their path to the ovule, this involves mechanosensing to determine the optimal strategy in specific situations. Mechanical cues then need to be translated into physiological signals, which eventually lead to changes in the growth behavior of the pollen tube. To study these events, we have developed a system to directly quantify the forces involved in pollen tube navigation. We combined a lab-on-a-chip device with a microelectromechanical systems-based force sensor to mimic the pollen tube’s journey from stigma to ovary in vitro. A force-sensing plate creates a mechanical obstacle for the pollen tube to either circumvent or attempt to penetrate while measuring the involved forces in real time. The change of growth behavior and intracellular signaling activities can be observed with a fluorescence microscope.