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A systems model that describes vesicle trafficking during pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) was constructed. The model is composed of ordinary differential equations that connect the molecular functions of genes expressed in pollen. The current model requires soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) and small GTPases, Arf or Rab, to reasonably predict tube growth as a function of time. Tube growth depends on vesicle trafficking that transports phospholipid and pectin to the tube tip. The vesicle trafficking genes identified by analyzing publicly available transcriptome data comprised 328 genes. Fourteen of them are up-regulated by the gibberellin signaling pathway during pollen development, which includes the SNARE genes SYP124 and SYP125 and the Rab GTPase gene RABA4D. The model results adequately fit the pollen tube growth of both previously reported wild-type and raba4d knockout lines. Furthermore, the difference of pollen tube growth in syp124/syp125 single and double mutations was quantitatively predicted based on the model analysis. In general, a systems model approach to vesicle trafficking arguably demonstrated the importance of the functional connections in pollen tube growth and can help guide future research directions. © 2009 American Society of Plant Biologists.

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Plant Physiology

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