Bioinformatics resources for pollen

Plant Reprod. 2016 Jun;29(1-2):133-47. doi: 10.1007/s00497-016-0284-8. Epub 2016 Jun 8.


Bioinformatics for Pollen. Pollen plays a key role in crop production, and its development is the most delicate phase in reproduction. Different metabolic pathways are involved in pollen development, and changes in the level of some metabolites, as well as responses to stress, are correlated with the reduction in pollen viability, leading consequently to a decrease in the fruit production. However, studies on pollen may be hard because gamete development and fertilization are complex processes that occur during a short window of time. The rise of the so-called -omics sciences provided key strategies to promote molecular research in pollen tissues, starting from model organisms and moving to increasing number of species. An integrated multi-level approach based on investigations from genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics appears now feasible to clarify key molecular processes in pollen development and viability. To this aim, bioinformatics has a fundamental role for data production and analysis, contributing varied and ad hoc methodologies, endowed with different sensitivity and specificity, necessary for extracting added-value information from the large amount of molecular data achievable. Bioinformatics is also essential for data management, organization, distribution and integration in suitable resources. This is necessary to catch the biological features of the pollen tissues and to design effective approaches to identifying structural or functional properties, enabling the modeling of the major involved processes in normal or in stress conditions. In this review, we provide an overview of the available bioinformatics resources for pollen, ranging from raw data collections to complete databases or platforms, when available, which include data and/or results from -omics efforts on the male gametophyte. Perspectives in the fields will also be described.

Keywords: Bioinformatics platforms; Data integration; Data sources; Omics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genomics*
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics*
  • Magnoliopsida / metabolism
  • Pollen*
  • Transcriptome