Global Identification of ANTH Genes Involved in Rice Pollen Germination and Functional Characterization of a Key Member, OsANTH3

Su Kyoung Lee, Woo Jong Hong, Jeniffer Silva, Eui Jung Kim, Soon Ki Park, Ki Hong Jung, Yu Jin Kim

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12 Scopus citations


Pollen in angiosperms plays a critical role in double fertilization by germinating and elongating pollen tubes rapidly in one direction to deliver sperm. In this process, the secretory vesicles deliver cell wall and plasma membrane materials, and excessive materials are sequestered via endocytosis. However, endocytosis in plants is poorly understood. AP180 N-terminal homology (ANTH) domain-containing proteins function as adaptive regulators for clathrin-mediated endocytosis in eukaryotic systems. Here, we identified 17 ANTH domain-containing proteins from rice based on a genome-wide investigation. Motif and phylogenomic analyses revealed seven asparagine-proline-phenylalanine (NPF)-rich and 10 NPF-less subgroups of these proteins, as well as various clathrin-mediated endocytosis-related motifs in their C-terminals. To investigate their roles in pollen germination, we performed meta-expression analysis of all genes encoding ANTH domain-containing proteins in Oryza sativa (OsANTH genes) in anatomical samples, including pollen, and identified five mature pollen-preferred OsANTH genes. The subcellular localization of four OsANTH proteins that were preferentially expressed in mature pollen can be consistent with their role in endocytosis in the plasma membrane. Of them, OsANTH3 represented the highest expression in mature pollen. Functional characterization of OsANTH3 using T-DNA insertional knockout and gene-edited mutants revealed that a mutation in OsANTH3 decreased seed fertility by reducing the pollen germination percentage in rice. Thus, our study suggests OsANTH3-mediated endocytosis is important for rice pollen germination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number609473
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
StatePublished - 13 Apr 2021


  • AP180 N-terminal homology protein
  • endocytosis
  • gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9)
  • Oryza sativa
  • pollen germination


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