Identification of a Novel Pollen Tube Stimulant From Arabidopsis Pistils

Technology #ua10-048

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Árpád Somogyi
Associate Staff Scientist, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Yelena Feinstein
Research Specialist, Center for Toxicology
Ronald Wysocki, jr.
Assistant Staff Scientist, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Yuan Qin
Ravishankar Palanivelu
Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences
Managed By
Tod Mccauley


This technology is a new in vitro assay to demonstrate that diffusible factors from tissue of a pistil stimulate pollen tube germination and growth. They isolated a partially purified fraction of Arabidopsis pistil extract that promotes these activities. Utilizing molecular weight and mass spectral patterns, they predicted the chemical structure and devised a protocol to synthesize a novel compound from commercial precursors. Using an in-vitro assay, they demonstrated that the synthetic compounds mimic the natural purified fraction in stimulation of pollen germination and tube growth


During plant reproduction, pistil cells are critical for inducing pollen germination and tube growth. It has been proposed that pistil cells also provide nutritional and navigation cues to guide pollen tubes to ovules. However, only a few of these signals have been identified until now. University of Arizona investigators recently discovered a component of Arabidopsis pistil extract that stimulates Arabidopisis pollen germination and pollen tube growth.


  • Made from commercially available precursors, produces consistent results in tube growth in vitro, which are sometimes difficult to produce with natural research reagents.
  • Could be used to develop a commercial product that stimulates plant growth.


  • Useful in plant reproduction research
  • May lead to development of a commercial product for stimulating pollen germination and tube growth.


Ravi Palanivelu


Tod McCauley

Licensing Manager, Tech Launch Arizona

Refer to UA Technology No. UA10-048.