In the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Strategic Creative Research Promotion Project, research groups such as Tetsuya Higashiyama, Research Supervisor of the ERATO Higashiyama Live Holonics Project (Professor, Institute of Transformative Biomolecules, Nagoya University) will improve the fertilization efficiency of plants. Identifying the substance for the first time.It was published in the online bulletin version of the American academic journal "Current Biology".Various applications can be expected in the field of plant production such as agricultural products.

 In plants, pollen attaches to the tip of the pistil, the pollen tube extends, and reaches the egg cell in the ovule at the root for fertilization.It has been suggested that the pistil contains a substance, so to speak, an "aphrodisiac" that activates the pollen tube so that it can be fertilized, but its substance is not yet known.

 This time, the research group has developed a method to quantitatively investigate the degree of pollen tube activity using a plant called torenia.When various parts of Torenia flowers were examined by this method, it was discovered that there was a substance that activates pollen tubes near the ovule of the pistil.It was also found that this substance has a sugar chain called "arabinogalactan" peculiar to plants, and that the two sugars present at this end alone have a function of imparting fertilizing ability to pollen tubes.This substance, which has an arabinogalactan sugar chain, was named AMOR (Greek for "cupid") by the research group.Furthermore, when the disaccharide at the end of this sugar chain was chemically synthesized and tested, it was also suggested that the pollen tube became able to react with the attractant and fertilization was possible.

 The discovery of Amor is expected to greatly advance research aimed at improving the fertilization efficiency of plants.In addition, the approach of this research, which was able to discover the functional sites of sugar chains by fusing biological and chemical methods, is also a method that will bring new developments to the history of sugar chain research in plants. Attention has been paid.

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