Pollen tubes--the male parts of flowering plants--grow in rhythmic pulses, both physically and biochemically. A group led by Jose Feijo of the Department of Cellular Biology & Moleculer Genetics has developed an open-source software package, CHUKNORRIS (Computational Heuristics for Understanding Kymographs and aNalysis of Oscillations Relying on Regression and Improved Statistics), to visualize and quantify these microscopic "beats" of life.
Top: A time-lapse visualization shows a pollen tube's growth in a span of ten minutes. Redder colors correspond to higher concentrations of calcium ions, which regulate cell growth.
Bottom: CHUKNORRIS tracks the pollen tube's growth (green), calcium ions (orange) and protons (purple), which also help regulate pollen tube growth. All three measurements follow the same rhythmic "beat" as the pollen tube grows.
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (MCB 1616437/2016). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
The research paper, “Oscillatory signatures underlie growth regimes in Arabidopsis pollen tubes: computational methods to estimate tip location, periodicity, and synchronization in growing cells,” Daniel Damineli, Maria Portes and José Feijó was published in the Journal of Experimental Botany on March 28, 2017.
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