Pollen–pistil interaction is a basic process in the reproductive biology of flowering plants and has been the subject of intense fundamental research that has a pronounced practical value. The phytohormones ethylene (ET) and cytokinin (CK) together with other hormones such as auxin, gibberellin (GA), jasmonic acid (JA), abscisic acid (ABA), and brassinosteroids (BRs) influence different stages of plant development and growth. Here, we mainly focus on the information about the ET and CK signaling in the progamic phase of fertilization. This signaling occurs during male gametophyte development, including tapetum (TAP) cell death, and pollen tube growth, including synergid programmed cell death (PCD) and self-incompatibility (SI)-induced PCD. ET joins the coordination of successive events in the developing anther, including the TAP development and cell death, anther dehiscence, microspore development, pollen grain maturation, and dehydration. Both ET and CK take part in the regulation of pollen–pistil interaction. ET signaling accompanies adhesion, hydration, and germination of pollen grains in the stigma and growth of pollen tubes in style tissues. Thus, ET production may be implicated in the pollination signaling between organs accumulated in the stigma and transmitted to the style and ovary to ensure successful pollination. Some data suggest that ET and CK signaling are involved in S-RNase-based SI.
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