The genetics of pollen development and function in cereals

M. Sari-Gorla, S. Ferrario, E. Gatti, A. Gallavotti, L. Mizzi, L. Gianfranceschi, M. Villa, M. E. Pè

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Even though the pollen grain is a rather simple two- or three-celled organism, the construction of a functional male gametophyte requires the activity of a large pool of genes: many molecular studies have demonstrated that a large number of genes are expressed in pollen and a number of independent mutations affecting nuclear genes and resulting in male-sterility have been detected in many plant species. In order to identify genes specifically involved in the control of pollen development and function, two main strategies can be adopted: i) starting from pollen characters, to identify the involved gene/s (forward genetics), or ii) identifying the function of isolated genes that putatively control pollen characters (reverse genetics). Here we review the present state of the knowledge in the field, in particular with regard to the findings that, by the above-mentioned approaches, have been produced in cereals (maize and millet).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


  • Maize
  • Male-sterility
  • Pearl millet
  • Pollen

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