Pollen acts as a biological protector for protecting male sperm from various harsh conditions and is covered by an outer cell wall polymer called the exine, a major constituent of which is sporopollenin. The tapetum is in direct contact with the developing gametophytes and plays an essential role in pollen wall and pollen coat formation. The precise molecular mechanisms underlying tapetal development remain highly elusive, but molecular genetic studies have identified a number of genes that control the formation, differentiation, and programmed cell death of tapetum and interactions of genes in tapetal development. Herein, several lines of evidence suggest that sporopollenin is built up via catalytic enzyme reactions in the tapetum. Furthermore, as based on genetic evidence, we review the currently accepted understanding of the molecular regulation of sporopollenin biosynthesis and examine unanswered questions regarding the requirements underpinning proper exine pattern formation.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 12, 2013
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