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Section of Plant Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis, California 95616.


Pollination regulates a syndrome of developmental responses that contributes to successful sexual reproduction in higher plants. Pollination-regulated developmental events collectively prepare the flower for fertilization and embryogenesis while bringing about the loss of floral organs that have completed their function in pollen dispersal and reception. Components of this process include changes in flower pigmentation, senescence and abscission of floral organs, growth and development of the ovary, and, in certain cases, pollination also triggers ovule and female gametophyte development in anticipation of fertilization. Pollination-regulated development is initiated by the primary pollination event at the stigma surface, but because developmental processes occur in distal floral organs, the activity of interorgan signals that amplify and transmit the primary pollination signal to floral organs is implicated. Interorgan signaling and signal amplification involves the regulation of ethylene biosynthetic gene expression and interorgan transport of hormones and their precursors. The coordination of pollination- regulated flower development including gametophyte, embryo, and ovary development; pollination signaling; the molecular regulation of ethylene biosynthesis; and interorgan communication are presented.

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