Comprehensive genome-wide gene expression profiles during plant male gametogenesis have been thoroughly analyzed over the last decade. In contrast, gene expression profiles during female gametogenesis have been studied relatively little, and our knowledge concerning plant female gametogenesis is limited. We determined the genome-wide gene expression profiles of developing ovules containing female gametophytes from the megaspore mother cell at the pre-meiotic stage to the mature embryo sac in rice (Oryza sativa) using microarrays. In order to separate ovules from scutellum, we used a laser microdissection (LM) technique. Dynamic gene expression was revealed in developing ovules, and a major transition of the transcriptome was observed between middle and late meiotic stages, where many genes were down-regulated >10-fold. Many potential players in female gametogenesis, that showed dynamic or enriched expression, were highlighted. We identified the temporal and dramatic up-regulation of a subset of transposable elements during female meiotic stages that were not observed in males. Transcription factor genes enriched in developing ovules were also uncovered, which may play crucial roles during female gametogenesis. This is the first report of comprehensive genome-wide gene expression profiles during female gametogenesis useful for plant reproductive studies. Combined with additional experiments, our data may provide important clues to understand female gametogenesis in plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology