Cell-specific analysis of the tomato pollen proteome from pollen mother cell to mature pollen provides evidence for developmental priming

Inserted by: Puneet Paul


Palak Chaturvedi, Till Ischebeck, Volker Egelhofer, Irene Lichtscheidl and Wolfram Weckwerth


Tomato is a globally important crop grown and consumed worldwide. Its reproductive activity is highly sensitive to environmental fluctuations, e.g. temperature and drought. Here, pollen development is one of the most decisive processes. The present study aims for the identification of cell-specific proteins during pollen developmental stages of tomato. We have setup a protocol for stage-specific pollen isolation including microsporocytes (pollen mother cells), tetrads, microspores, polarized microspores and mature pollen. Proteins were extracted using phenol and prefractionated using SDS-PAGE followed by protein digestion, peptide extraction and desalting. Identification and quantification of proteins were performed using nanoHPLC coupled to LTQ-Orbitrap-MS. In total, 1821 proteins were identified. Most of these proteins were classified based on their homology and designated functions of orthologs. Cluster and principal components analysis revealed stage-specific proteins and demonstrated that pollen development of tomato is a highly controlled sequential process at the proteome level. Intermediate stages such as tetrad and polarized microspore are clearly distinguished by different functionality compared to other stages. From the predicted functions, energy related proteins are increased during the later stages of development which indicates that pollen germination depends upon presynthesized proteins in mature pollen. In contrast heat stress related proteins are highly abundant in very early developmental stages suggesting a dominant role in stress protection. Taken together the data provide a first cell-specific protein reference set for tomato pollen development from pollen mother cells to the mature pollen and give evidence for developmentally controlled processes which might help to prepare the cells for specific developmental programs and environmental stresses.


J. Proteome Res.


Jun 2013