Spin is a quantum property of electrons. For spin-based quantum information technology, preparation and read-out of the electron spin state should be spin coherent. We demonstrate that the polarization coherence of light can be transferred to the spin coherence of electrons in a semiconductor quantum nanostructure, and the prepared coherence of the electron spin can also be read out with light by the developed tomographic Kerr rotation method. We also demonstrate that a single photon is efficiently converted (∼27%) into a single electron trapped in a gate-defined quantum dot, where the g-factor of electrons is tuned to zero, and the charge state is detected with an adjacent quantum point contact without destructing the spin state. We further demonstrate that the spin coherence of a single electron trapped in one of double quantum dots is electrically manipulated with a microwave applied to the gate and read out via the Pauli spin blockade phenomenon. All of these functions are needed to build all semiconductor quantum repeaters and distributed quantum computers.