Gene Expression in Developing Maize Pollen

  • Douglas A. Hamilton


A pollen grain represents the male portion of the gametophytic stage in the angiosperm plant life cycle. At its maturity, the pollen grain is only three celled and is certainly a very reduced system in a morphological sense. Yet pollen clearly contains all the genetic information necessary for the formation of a complete plant as is shown by the fact that morphologically normal haploid plants can be generated by changing the normal pathway of development of immature pollen (Raghavan, 1976). The normal pathway of development in pollen is obviously a result of gametophytic, and not sporophytic, gene expression, but little is known about the differences between the two. Are they fundamentally the same, or different? Much work has been presented regarding gene expression in sporophytic tissues, but what is known about gene expression in pollen? Work from a number of labs is beginning to provide information regarding the genetic program in the pollen of several species. This chapter attempts to summarize what has been ascertained concerning gene expression during gametophytic development as exemplified in maize pollen.


Pollen Tube Cytoplasmic Male Sterility Pollen Tube Growth Pollen Development Pollen Germination 
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  • Douglas A. Hamilton

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