Saiying Hou: The Plant Cell First Author

Saiying Hou, co-first author of “VPS18-regulated vesicle trafficking controls the secretion of pectin and its modifying enzyme during pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis”

Current Position: Ph.D. Candidate, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China

Education: B.S. in College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Non-scientific Interests: Reading, traveling and enjoying delicious food.

Brief bio: I completed my B.S. at the China Agricultural University in 2016. After graduation, I joined the lab of Prof. Li-Jia Qu at the Peking University as a Ph.D. student, studying the roles of VPS subunits of HOPS/CORVET complexes in regulating plant reproduction. Under the direction of Prof. Qu, we found the core subunit VPS18 played an important role in pollen tube growth through mediating the late endocytic trafficking in Arabidopsis. Our work showed loss of function of VPS18 disturbed the fusion between MVBs and vacuole, resulting in increased secretory activities in the tip region of pollen tubes. The excessive secretion altered pectin distribution and deposition of pollen tube cell wall and thus, arrested pollen tube growth. Besides, we found different subunits of HOPS/CORVET might form complexes of different combinations to implement specific and distinct function in plant reproduction. This work provides new insights into the possible functions and regulation of different subunits of HOPS/CORVET in endomembrane trafficking during pollen tube growth.