J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (2): 247-255.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12826

Special Issue: Development

• Plant Reproduction Biology • Previous Articles    

Tasselseed5 encodes a cytochrome C oxidase that functions in sex determination by affecting jasmonate catabolism in maize

Fei Wang1†, Zhenjiang Yuan1,2,3†, Zhiwei Zhao1,2†, Caixia Li4, Xin Zhang1, Huafeng Liang1,2, Yawen Liu1, Qian Xu4 and Hongtao Liu1*   

  1. 1National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China
    3Key Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology, School of Life Sciences, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China
    4College of Agronomy, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian 271018, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work
    Email: Hongtao Liu (htliu@sibs.ac.cn)
  • Received:2019-05-06 Accepted:2019-05-10 Online:2019-05-14 Published:2020-02-01

Abstract: Maize (Zea mays L.) is a monoecious grass plant in which mature male and female florets form the tassel and ear, respectively. Maize is often used as a model plant to study flower development. Several maize tassel seed mutants, such as the recessive mutants tasselseed1 (ts1) and tasselseed2 (ts2), exhibit a reversal in sex determination, which leads to the generation of seeds in tassels. The phenotype of the dominant mutant, Tasselseed5 (Ts5), is similar to that of ts2. Here, we positionally cloned the underlying gene of Ts5 and characterized its function. We show that the GRMZM2G177668 gene is overexpressed in Ts5. This gene encodes a cytochrome C oxidase, which catalyzes the transformation of jasmonoyl‐L‐isoleucine (JA‐Ile) to 12OH‐JA‐Ile during jasmonic acid catabolism. Consistent with this finding, no JA‐Ile peak was detected in Ts5 tassels during the sex determination period, unlike in the wild type. Transgenic maize plants overexpressing GRMZM2G177668 exhibited a tassel‐seed phenotype similar to that of Ts5. These results indicate that the JA‐Ile peak in tassels is critical for sex determination and that the Ts5 mutant phenotype results from the disruption of this peak in tassels during sex determination.

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