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1.  Emerging Roles for Non-Coding RNAs in Male Reproductive Development in Flowering Plants 
Biomolecules  2012;2(4):608-621.
Knowledge of sexual reproduction systems in flowering plants is essential to humankind, with crop fertility vitally important for food security. Here, we review rapidly emerging new evidence for the key importance of non-coding RNAs in male reproductive development in flowering plants. From the commitment of somatic cells to initiating reproductive development through to meiosis and the development of pollen—containing the male gametes (sperm cells)—in the anther, there is now overwhelming data for a diversity of non-coding RNAs and emerging evidence for crucial roles for them in regulating cellular events at these developmental stages. A particularly exciting development has been the association of one example of cytoplasmic male sterility, which has become an unparalleled breeding tool for producing new crop hybrids, with a non-coding RNA locus.
PMCID: PMC4030863  PMID: 24970151
reproduction; flowering plant; pollen; gametophyte; fertility; small RNA; non-coding RNA; cytoplasmic male sterility
2.  MicroRNA and tasiRNA diversity in mature pollen of Arabidopsis thaliana 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:643.
New generation sequencing technology has allowed investigation of the small RNA populations of flowering plants at great depth. However, little is known about small RNAs in their reproductive cells, especially in post-meiotic cells of the gametophyte generation. Pollen - the male gametophyte - is the specialised haploid structure that generates and delivers the sperm cells to the female gametes at fertilisation. Whether development and differentiation of the male gametophyte depends on the action of microRNAs and trans-acting siRNAs guiding changes in gene expression is largely unknown. Here we have used 454 sequencing to survey the various small RNA populations present in mature pollen of Arabidopsis thaliana.
In this study we detected the presence of 33 different microRNA families in mature pollen and validated the expression levels of 17 selected miRNAs by Q-RT-PCR. The majority of the selected miRNAs showed pollen-enriched expression compared with leaves. Furthermore, we report for the first time the presence of trans-acting siRNAs in pollen. In addition to describing new patterns of expression for known small RNAs in each of these classes, we identified 7 putative novel microRNAs. One of these, ath-MIR2939, targets a pollen-specific F-box transcript and we demonstrate cleavage of its target mRNA in mature pollen.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the male gametophyte, comprising just two different cell types, pollen not only utilises many miRNAs and trans-acting siRNAs expressed in the somatic tissues but also expresses novel miRNAs.
PMCID: PMC2808329  PMID: 20042113

Results 1-2 (2)