1932

Abstract

The gametophyte represents the sexual phase in the alternation of generations in plants; the other, nonsexual phase is the sporophyte. Here, we review the evolutionary origins of the male gametophyte among land plants and, in particular, its ontogenesis in flowering plants. The highly reduced male gametophyte of angiosperm plants is a two- or three-celled pollen grain. Its task is the production of two male gametes and their transport to the female gametophyte, the embryo sac, where double fertilization takes place. We describe two phases of pollen ontogenesis—a developmental phase leading to the differentiation of the male germline and the formation of a mature pollen grain and a functional phase representing the pollen tube growth, beginning with the landing of the pollen grain on the stigma and ending with double fertilization. We highlight recent advances in the complex regulatory mechanisms involved, including posttranscriptional regulation and transcript storage, intracellular metabolic signaling, pollen cell wall structure and synthesis, protein secretion, and phased cell–cell communication within the reproductive tissues.

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2021-06-17
2024-04-23
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