The migration of male and female gamete nuclei to each other in the fertilized egg is a prerequisite for the blending of genetic materials and the initiation of the next generation. Interestingly, many differences have been found in the mechanism of gamete nuclear movement among animals and plants. Female to male gamete nuclear movement in animals and brown algae relies on microtubules. By contrast, in flowering plants, the male gamete nucleus is carried to the female gamete nucleus by the filamentous actin cytoskeleton. As techniques have developed from light, electron, fluorescence, immunofluorescence, and confocal microscopy to live-cell time-lapse imaging using fluorescently labeled proteins, details of these differences in gamete nuclear migration have emerged in a wide range of eukaryotes. Especially, gamete nuclear migration in flowering plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, maize, and tobacco has been further investigated, and showed high conservation of the mechanism, yet, with differences among these species. Here, with an emphasis on recent developments in flowering plants, we survey gamete nuclear migration in different eukaryotic groups and highlight the differences and similarities among species.

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Published in Frontiers in Plant Science, v. 10, 517, p. 1-14.

© 2019 Fatema, Ali, Hu, Clark and Kawashima.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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This work was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, Hatch Program under 1014280, and the start-up fund (to TK) from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky. ZH was supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council (Grant No. 201706760016).

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The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.00517/full#supplementary-material

Table_1_Gamete Nuclear Migration in Animals and Plants.xlsx (16 kB)
Supplementary table 1: Chemical inhibitors, targeting fertilization mechanisms in different organisms across different kingdoms