Male gametophyte development and function in angiosperms: a general concept

Hafidh S., Fíla J., Honys D.
PLANT REPRODUCTION in press: , 2016

Keywords: pollen development, male gametophyte, pollen tube growth, flowering plants
Abstract: Male gametophyte development of angiosperms is a complex process that requires coordinated activity of different cell types and tissues of both gametophytic and sporophytic origin and the appropriate specific gene expression. Pollen ontogeny is also an excellent model for the dissection of cellular networks that control cell growth, polarity, cellular differentiation and cell signaling. This article describes two sequential phases of angiosperm pollen ontogenesis-developmental phase leading to the formation of mature pollen grains, and a functional or progamic phase, beginning with the impact of the grains on the stigma surface and ending at double fertilization. Here we present an overview of important cellular processes in pollen development and explosive pollen tube growth stressing the importance of reserves accumulation and mobilization and also the mutual activation of pollen tube and pistil tissues, pollen tube guidance and the communication between male and female gametophytes. We further describe the recent advances in regulatory mechanisms involved such as posttranscriptional regulation (including mass transcript storage) and posttranslational modifications to modulate protein function, intracellular metabolic signaling, ionic gradients such as Ca2+ and H+ ions, cell wall synthesis, protein secretion and intercellular signaling within the reproductive tissues.
DOI: IEB authors: Jan Fíla, Said Hafidh, David Honys