Male microspores can be reprogammed to shift from the gametophytic to the embryogenic pathway. This developmental reprogramming, called androgenesis or microspore embryogenesis, results in haploid or doubled haploid embryos instead of mature pollen. REsponsive microspores dedifferentiate: the cells start dividing, form multicellular structures, and an embryo develops. Stress exposure is mandatory for this developmental shift.
Gametophytic embryogenesis is a valuable tool in plant breeding to rapidly produce homozygous lines and provides a valuable model systems in developmental biology.