Sialyltransferases (SiaTs) exist widely in vertebrates and play important roles in a variety of biological processes. In plants, several genes have also been identified to encode the proteins that share homology with the vertebrate SiaTs. However, very little is known about their functions in plants. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel Arabidopsis gene, MALE GAMETOPHYTE DEFECTIVE 2 (MGP2) that encodes a sialyltransferase-like protein. MGP2 was expressed in all tissues including pollen grains and pollen tubes. The MGP2 protein was targeted to Golgi apparatus. Knockout of MGP2 significantly inhibited the pollen germination and retarded pollen tube growth in vitro and in vivo, but did not affect female gametophytic functions. These results suggest that the sialyltransferase-like protein MGP2 is important for normal pollen germination and pollen tube growth, giving a novel insight into the biological roles of the sialyltransferase-like proteins in plants.
Deng Y, Wang W, Li WQ, Xia C, Liao HZ, Zhang XQ, Ye D (2010) MALE GAMETOPHYTE DEFECTIVE 2 (MGP2), encoding a sialyltransferase-like protein, is required for normal pollen germination and pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(9), 829–843.