Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 219:1, July 2018

Those aren’t coffee beans on the cover of New Phytologist 219:1, but pollen grains.

Yuki Nakamura and colleagues from the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Taiwan, and IMBIO, Germany, used a scanning electron microscope to capture the image.

There is something wrong with these pollen grains. Look closely and you’ll see that some of them appear crumpled, misshapen.

Image: Cryo‐scanning electron microscopy image of false-coloured aborted pollen grains in Arabidopsis npc2-1/- npc6-2/+ due to mutation in two plastid-localised non-specific phospholipase C. Courtesy of Anh H. Ngo.
Cryo‐scanning electron microscopy image of false-coloured aborted pollen grains in Arabidopsis npc2-1/- npc6-2/+ due to mutation in two plastid-localised non-specific phospholipase C. Courtesy of Anh H. Ngo.

The aborted, misshapen pollen grains are caused by a mutation, induced by Nakamura and colleagues.

The non-specific phospholipase C (NPC) is an emerging class of phospholipase, found in certain bacteria and plants. Plant NPCs are known to influence the responses of plants to environmental stress. The researchers wondered whether they were required for plant development, under normal growth conditions.

By inducing the mutation in two NPCs, NPC2 and NPC6, and observing the consequences for pollen development shown in the image, Nakamura and colleagues showed that these two NPCs are essential in gametophyte development.

Read the paper: Ngo, A. H., Lin, Y., Liu, Y., Gutbrod, K., Peisker, H., Dörmann, P. and Nakamura, Y. (2018) A pair of nonspecific phospholipases C, NPC2 and NPC6, are involved in gametophyte development and glycerolipid metabolism in ArabidopsisNew Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.15147

Mike Whitfield (@mgwhitfield)
Development Coordinator
New Phytologist Trust