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    We are still far from being able to predict organisms' shapes purely from their genetic codes. While it is imperative to identify which encoded macromolecules contribute to a phenotype, determining how macromolecules self-assemble independently of the genetic code may be equally crucial for understanding shape development. Pollen grains are typically single-celled microgametophytes that have decorated walls of various shapes and patterns. The accumulation of morphological data and a comprehensive understanding of the wall development makes this system ripe for mathematical and physical modeling. Therefore, pollen walls are an excellent system for identifying both the genetic products and the physical processes that result in a huge diversity of extracellular morphologies. In this piece, I highlight the current understanding of pollen wall biology relevant for quantification studies and enumerate the modellable aspects of pollen wall patterning and specific approaches that one may take to elucidate how pollen grains build their beautifully patterned walls. © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


    Asja Radja. Pollen wall patterns as a model for biological self-assembly. Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution. 2021 Dec;336(8):629-641

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    PMID: 32991047

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