Germination of the microspore begins before it leaves the pollen-sac. In very few cases has anything representing prothallial development been observed; generally a small cell (the antheridial or generative cell) is cut off, leaving a larger tube-cell.
The nucleus of the microspore divides and gives rise to a small cell within the large cell, a second small cell is then produced; this is the structure of the ripe pollen-grain in some conifers (Taxus, &c.).
The large cell grows out as a pollen-tube; the second of the two small cells (body-cell) wanders into the tube, followed by the nucleus of the first small cell (stalk-cell).
On germination the microspores give rise to a reduced prothallus, consisting of the small cell first cut off and a wall of cells enclosing two to four central ones; "from these latter the biciliate spermatozoids originate.