A new type of cell related to organ movement for selfing in plants

作  者:Wang YZ#*, Lin YX#, Liu Q#, Liu J, Barrett SCH
刊物名称:National Science Review
卷:10  期:9  页码:nwad208


Many plants employ osmotic and hydrostatic pressure to generate movement for survival, but little is known about the cellular mechanisms involved. Here, we report a new cell type in angiosperms termed ‘contractile cells’ in the stigmas of the flowering plant Chirita pumila with a much-expanded rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER). Cryo-scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analyses revealed that the RER is continuously distributed throughout the entirety of cells, confirmed by endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-specific fluorescent labeling, and is distinct from the common feature of plant ER. The RER is water-sensitive and extremely elongated with water absorption. We show that the contractile cells drive circadian stigma closing–bending movements in response to day-to-night moisture changes. RNA-seq analyses demonstrated that contractile cells have distinct molecular components. Furthermore, multiple microstructural changes in stigma movements convert an anti-selfing structure into a device promoting selfing—a unique cellular mechanism of reproductive adaptation for uncertain pollination environments.