Research into anther ontogeny has been an active and developing field, transitioning from a strictly lineage-based view of cellular differentiation events to a more complex understanding of cell fate specification. Here we describe the modern interpretation of pre-meiotic anther development, from the earliest cell specifications within the anther lobes through /-, -, and -dependent pathways as well as the initial setup of the abaxial and adaxial axes and outgrowth of the anther lobes. We then continue with a look at the known information regarding further differentiation of the somatic layers of the anther (the epidermis, endothecium, middle layer, and tapetum), with an emphasis on male-sterile mutants identified as defective in somatic cell specification. We also describe the differences in developmental stages among species and use this information to discuss molecular studies that have analyzed transcriptome, proteome, and small-RNA information in the anther.

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Pre-Meiotic Anther Development: Cell Fate Specification and Differentiation

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