[Yuki Nakamura] Successful plant reproduction requires a unique type of lipase found only in plant and bacteria

Plant reproduction is a key to propagate species and rich harvest of agricultural product. A research team led by Dr. Nakamura discovered in Arabidopsis thaliana that successful gametogenesis requires a pair of non-specific phospholipase C (NPC), NPC2 and NPC6, a unique family of lipase found only in seed plants and certain bacterial species. Due to its potentially toxic activity to non-specifically degrades the cellular membrane lipids, this type of enzyme was thought to function only under certain stress conditions. Our finding on the function of NPC2 and NPC6, two last uncharacterized NPC family member, shed light on critical function of phospholipid catabolism in plant reproductive development. This work was conducted in collaboration with Prof. Peter Dörmann (University of Bonn, Germany).