J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (8): 774-781.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2009.00849.x

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Premature Tapetum Degeneration: a Major Cause of Abortive Pollen Development in Photoperiod Sensitive Genic Male Sterility in Rice

Yinlian Shi, Sha Zhao and Jialing Yao*   

  1. College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China)
  • Received:2009-03-28 Accepted:2009-05-10 Published:2009-08-17
  • About author: *Author for correspondence Tel: +86 27 8728 2866; Fax: +86 27 8728 2469; E-mail: yaojlmy@mail.hzau.edu.cn


Photoperiod-sensitive genic male-sterile (PSGMS) rice (Oryza sativa L.), a natural mutant found in the rice cultivar Nongken 58, is very useful for the development of hybrid rice cultivars. Despite its widespread use in breeding programs, the initial stage of the abortive development of PSGMS rice and the possible cytological mechanisms of pollen abortion have not been determined. In the present study, a systematic cytological comparison of the anther development of PSGMS rice with its normal fertile counterpart is conducted. The results show that pollen abortion in PSGMS rice first occurs before the pollen mother cell (PMC) stage, and continues during the entire process of pollen development until pollen degradation. The abortive process was closely associated with the abnormal behavior of the tapetum. Although tapetum degeneration in PSGMS rice initiates already at the PMC stage, it proceeds slowly and does not complete until the breakdown of the pollen. Such cytological observations were supported by the results of the TUNEL (TdT mediated dUTP Nick End Labeling) assay, which detects DNA fragmentation resulting from programmed cell death (PCD), indicating that the premature tapetum degeneration is in the process of PCD.

Shi Y, Zhao S, Yao J (2009). Premature tapetum degeneration: a major cause of abortive pollen development in photoperiod sensitive genic male sterility in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(8), 774-781

Key words: male-sterility, Oryza sativa, programmed cell death, tapetum, ultrastructure

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