Significance of Single-Pollen Genotyping in Ecological Research

  • Yuji Isagi
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


Pollination is one of the most important processes of sexual reproduction in angiosperms and gymnosperms. Although the small size of pollen grains precludes direct observation of pollination, rapid advances in molecular genetics allow direct genotyping of a single pollen grain: single-pollen genotyping. The genetic information obtained from a single pollen grain facilitates a variety of ecological analyses, including determination of parentage, gene flow, plant fitness, and genetic diversity. Further, genotyping of DNA from ancient pollen can reveal the process of migration, microevolution, and demographic history of the plants. Single-pollen genotyping for the haploid genome would facilitate recombination analysis and linkage map construction, which is easier than conventional pedigree analysis of inbred lines obtained from experimental crossing. Moreover, genotyping of a single pollen grain allows easier DNA sequencing of the nuclear loci.


Gene Flow Sexual Reproduction Pollen Movement Pollen Transfer Genetic Trait 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adler LS, Irwin RE (2006) Comparison of pollen transfer dynamics by multiple floral visitors: experiments with pollen and fluorescent dye. Ann Bot 97:141–150CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Conner JK, Davis R, Rush S (1995) The effect of wild radish floral morphology on pollination efficiency by four taxa of pollinators. Oecologia (Berl) 104:234–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cronberg N, Natcheva R, Hedlund K (2006) Microarthropods mediate sperm transfer in mosses. Science 313(5971):1255CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Devlin B, Ellstrand NC (1990) The development and application of a refined method for estimating gene flow angiosperm paternity analysis. Evolution 44:248–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Galen C, Newport MEA (1987) Bumble bee behavior and selection on flower size in the sky pilot, Polemonium viscosum. Oecologia (Berl) 74:20–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Herrera CM (1989) Pollinator abundance, morphology, and flower visitation rate: analysis of the “quantity” component in a plant-pollinator system. Oecologia (Berl) 80:241–248Google Scholar
  7. Isagi Y, Kanazashi T, Suzuki W, Tanaka H, Abe T (2004) Highly variable pollination patterns in Magnolia obovata revealed by microsatellite paternity analysis. Int J Plant Sci 165:1047–1053CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Isagi Y, Saito D, Kawaguchi H, Tateno R, Watanabe S (2007) Effective pollen dispersal is enhanced by the genetic structure of an Aesculus turbinata population. J Ecol 95:983–990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Matsuki Y, Isagi Y, Suyama Y (2007) The determination of multiple microsatellite genotypes and DNA sequences from a single pollen grain. Mol Ecol Notes 7:194–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Muchhala N, Potts MD (2007) Character displacement among bat-pollinated flowers of the genus Burmeistera: analysis of mechanism, process and pattern. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 274:2731–2737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Murawski DA, Gilbert LE (1986) Pollen flow in Psiguria warscewiczii: a comparison of Heliconius butterflies and hummingbirds. Oecologia (Berl) 68:161–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Norstog KJ, Nicholls TJ (1997) The biology of the cycads. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Schoonhoven LM, van Loon JJA, Dicke M (2005) Insects and flowers: mutualism par excellence. In: Shoonhoven LM, van Loon JJA, Dicke M (eds) Insect–plant biology. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 306–335Google Scholar
  14. Smouse PE, Dyer RJ, Westfall RD, Sork VL (2001) Two-generation analysis of pollen flow across a landscape. I. Male gamete heterogeneity among females. Evolution 55:260–271PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Soltis DE, Soltis PS, Endress PE, Chase MW (2005) Phylogeny and evolution of angiosperms. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MAGoogle Scholar
  16. Suyama Y, Kawamuro K, Kinoshita I, Yoshimura K, Tsumura Y, Takahara H (1996) DNA sequence from a fossil pollen of Abies spp. from Pleistocene peat. Genes Genet Syst 71:145–149CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations