Flavonols are plant metabolites suggested to serve a vital role in fertilization of higher plants. Petunia and maize plants mutated in their flavonol biosynthesis are not able to set seed after self-pollination. We have investigated the role of these compounds in Arabidopsis thaliana. Like in all other plant species, high levels of flavonols could be detected in pollen of wild-type A. thaliana. No flavonols were detected in reproductive organs of the A. thaliana tt4 mutant in which the ohs gene is mutated. Surprisingly, this mutant did set seed after self-fertilization and no pollen tube growth aberrations were observed in vivo. The role of flavonols during fertilization of Arabidopsis is discussed.
- Arabidopsis thaliana