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Control of the developmental pathway of tobacco pollen in vitro

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We developed a new method for culture of isolated pollen. Using highly homogeneous populations of immature pollen grains of Nicotiana tabacum L. prepared by means of Percoll density gradient centrifugation, we could direct their developmental pathway by regulating certain culture conditions. When the pollen population was cultured in basal medium with glutamine, most pollen grains underwent normal maturation. On the other hand, when first cultured in basal medium without glutamine, most pollen grains did not mature but after transfer to medium with glutamine and sucrose began to divide. This method for inducing pollen cell division was possible only with midbinucleate pollen grains which are characterized by having no central vacuole and no or only a few starch grains. Evidently, some essential changes necessary for the embryogenic response can be induced by glutamine starvation only in pollen grains at a specific stage.

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Kyo, M., Harada, H. Control of the developmental pathway of tobacco pollen in vitro. Planta 168, 427–432 (1986).

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