When Simple Meets Complex: Pollen and the -Omics



Pollen, an extremely reduced bi-cellular or tri-cellular male reproductive structure of flowering plants, serves as a model for numerous studies covering a wide range of developmental and physiological processes. The pollen development and subsequent progamic phase represent two fragile and vital phases of plant ontogenesis, and pollen was among the first singular plant tissues thoroughly characterised at the transcriptomic level. Here we present an overview of high-throughput tools applied in pollen research on numerous plant species. Transcriptomics, being the first experimental approach used, has provided and continues providing valuable information about global and specific gene expression and its dynamics. However, the proteome does not fully reflect the transcriptome, namely, because post-transcriptional regulatory levels, especially translation, mRNA storage and protein modifications, are active during male gametophyte development and during progamic phase. Transcriptomics therefore should be complemented by other -omic tools to get more realistic insight, most importantly proteomics and other specialised approaches mapping the involvement of regulatory RNAs and protein post-translational modifications as well as experiments designed to identify the subsets of total -omes like translatome, secretome or allergome.


Pollen development Gene expression Regulation -Omics Transcriptome Proteome 



two dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis


two dimensional gel electrophoresis


basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor


basic leucine zipper transcription factor


cyclic adenosine monophosphate


cap analysis of gene expression


cyclic guanosine monophosphate

DEFL protein

defensin-like family protein

EAR motif

ethylene-responsive element binding factor-associated amphiphilic repression motif


EDTA/puromycin-resistant particle


gene ontology


immobilized metal affinity chromatography


liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry


family of transcription factors containing conserved MADS DNA-binding domain


matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry

MIKC* type proteins

subfamily of MADS-box proteins with conserved domain structure, where the MADS (M) domain is followed by Intervening (I), Keratin-like (K) and C-terminal domains


metal oxide/hydroxide affinity chromatography


massively parallel signature sequencing


messenger ribonucleoprotein particle

MYB family proteins

transcription factor protein family characterised by the presence of MYB (myeloblastosis) DNA-binding domain


cAMP-dependent protein kinase


protein kinase C


cGMP-dependent protein kinase


MYB-protein subfamily characterised by the R2R3-type MYB domain


RNA deep sequencing technologies


reads per million


serial analysis of gene expression


sequential elution from IMAC


translationally controlled tumour protein


transcription factor



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Czech Science Foundation (grants no. 15–16050S and 17-23183S).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Pollen Biology, Institute of Experimental BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPraha 6Czech Republic

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