Sucrose rather than GA transported by AtSWEET13 and AtSWEET14 supports pollen fitness at late anther development stages

Jiang Wang, Xueyi Xue, Houqing Zeng, Jiankun Li, Li Qing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Both sugar and the hormone gibberellin (GA) are essential for anther-enclosed pollen development and thus for plant productivity in flowering plants. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) AtSWEET13 and AtSWEET14, which are expressed in anthers and associated with seed yield, transport both sucrose and GA. However, it is still unclear which substrate transported by them directly affects anther development and seed yield. Histochemical staining, cross-sectioning and microscopy imaging techniques were used to investigate and interpret the phenotypes of the atsweet13;14 double mutant during anther development. Genetic complementation of atsweet13;14 using AtSWEET9, which transports sucrose but not GA, and the GA transporter AtNPF3.1, respectively, was conducted to test the substrate preference relevant to the biological process. The loss of both AtSWEET13 and AtSWEET14 resulted in reduced pollen viability and therefore decreased pollen germination. AtSWEET9 fully rescued the defects in pollen viability and germination of atsweet13;14, whereas AtNPF3.1 failed to do so, indicating that AtSWEET13/14-mediated sucrose rather than GA is essential for pollen fertility. AtSWEET13 and AtSWEET14 function mainly at the anther wall during late anther development stages, and they probably are responsible for sucrose efflux into locules to support pollen development to maturation, which is vital for subsequent pollen viability and germination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-537
Number of pages13
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number2
Early online dateJul 10 2022
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • GA transport
  • pollen germination
  • pollen viability
  • sucrose transport
  • SWEET13
  • SWEET14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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