Embryogenic Pollen Culture: A Promising Target for Genetic Transformation
As the immediate product of meiosis, the microspore represents the first stage of pollen development. The haploid chromosome set in addition to embryogenic competence renders microspores one of the most attractive cellular targets for the transfer and stable integration of recombinant DNA into plant genomes. However, the development of methods of plant genetic transformation through gene transfer to embryogenic pollen has turned out to be extremely difficult. In this chapter, diverse gene transfer approaches based upon embryogenic pollen cultures are critically reviewed with regard to target cell type, cell cycle stage, method of gene transfer as well as experimental evidence of transgene integration and homozygosity. Typical constraints and potential pitfalls are discussed and possible strategies to resolve these problems are suggested. Recent demonstrations of the successful generation of instantly true-breeding transgenic plants via gene transfer to embryogenic pollen cultures in both dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous species may encourage further development and broad applications of such methods in research and biotechnology.
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