The male gametophyte developmental program can be divided into five phases, which differ in relation to the environment and pollen hydration state: the microsporogenesis phase; the dehydration phase; the presentation phase; the dispersal phase; and the pollen–stigma interaction phase. Firon et al. review the topic of pollen water status, indicating the various mechanisms used by pollen grains during these developmental phases to adjust to changes in water content and to maintain internal stability. Pollen water status is co-ordinated through structural, physiological and molecular mechanisms, and it is suggested that pollen grains will use these mechanisms, which have a developmental role, to cope with environmental stress conditions.
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