Microspore embryogenesis: assignment of genes to embryo formation and green vs. albino plant production

Funct Integr Genomics. 2009 Aug;9(3):311-23. doi: 10.1007/s10142-009-0113-3. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


Plant microspores can be reprogrammed from their normal pollen development to an embryogenic route in a process termed microspore embryogenesis or androgenesis. Stress treatment has a critical role in this process, inducing the dedifferentiation of microspores and conditioning the following androgenic response. In this study, we have used three barley doubled haploid lines with similar genetic background but different androgenic response. The Barley1 GeneChip was used for transcriptome comparison of these lines after mannitol stress treatment, allowing the identification of 213 differentially expressed genes. Most of these genes belong to the functional categories "cell rescue, defense, and virulence"; "metabolism"; "transcription"; and "transport". These genes were grouped into clusters according to their expression profiles among lines. A principal component analysis allowed us to associate specific gene expression clusters to phenotypic variables. Genes associated with the ability of microspores to divide and form embryos were mainly involved in changes in the structure and function of membranes, efficient use of available energy sources, and cell fate. Genes related to stress response, transcription and translation regulation, and degradation of pollen-specific proteins were associated with green plant production, while expression of genes related to plastid development was associated with albino plant regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albinism / genetics*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Embryonic Development / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Hordeum / anatomy & histology*
  • Hordeum / classification
  • Hordeum / embryology*
  • Hordeum / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phylogeny
  • Pigmentation / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Pollen* / embryology
  • Pollen* / genetics
  • Principal Component Analysis


  • Plant Proteins