Research

Pistil leads pollen in life-and-death dance

A portal to cellular communications

The back-and-forth communications within the reproductive system of flowers is “a really great system for understanding how cellular identity is established and read by another cell.” Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University

Pollination, essential to much of life on earth, requires the explosive death of the male pollen tube in the female ovule. In new research, Brown University scientists describe the genetic and regulatory factors that compel the male’s role in the process. Finding a way to tweak that performance could expand crop cross-breeding possibilities.