Biology of Plant Sexual Reproduction

This research line concerns the fundamental mechanisms of sexual reproduction in higher plants, starting from the ecophysiological processes that support its success up to the analysis of molecular components. In particular, this research area concerns with the study of male gametophyte development as well as with pollen traits related to viability and longevity during presentation and dispersal. Pollination mechanism and the cytophysiological processes underlying  the production of floral reward are also considered. In addition, this research area also concerns with the mechanisms of recognition between pollen and stigma, and with the various environmental processes that might prevent the proper functioning of pollen.
Specific research subjects:
•    Pollen development and presentation
•    Relations between water content, carbohydrate metabolism and pollen longevity
•    Cytophysiology of nectary and dynamics of nectar production
•    Characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying the growth of pollen tubes
•    Effects of altered environmental conditions that hinder the functioning of pollen tubes and sexual reproduction in plants

National projects:
Investigating Self Incompatibility DEterminants in fruit trees (ISIDE), Prin 2015. Giampiero Cai as Unisi investigator. Collaborators: Universities of Milano, Bologna, Catania

Researchers involved in the activities: