J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (5): 1076-1086.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13242

• Plant Reproduction Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

MALE STERILITY 3 encodes a plant homeodomain-finger protein for male fertility in soybean

Jingjing Hou1, Weiwei Fan1, Ruirui Ma1, Bing Li1, Zhihui Yuan1, Wenxuan Huang1, Yueying Wu1, Quan Hu1, Chunjing Lin2, Xingqi Zhao3, Bao Peng2, Limei Zhao2, Chunbao Zhang2* and Lianjun Sun1*   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, Beijing Key Laboratory for Crop Genetic Improvement, and College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2 Soybean Research Institute, the National Engineering Research Center for Soybean, Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun 130033, China
    3 Jiamusi Branch of Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jiamusi 154007, China

    *Correspondences: Lianjun Sun (sunlj@cau.edu.cn, Dr. Sun is responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article); Chunbao Zhang (cbzhang@cjaas.com)
  • Received:2022-01-27 Accepted:2022-03-01 Online:2022-04-13 Published:2022-05-01


Male-sterile plants are used in hybrid breeding to improve yield in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.). Developing the capability to alter fertility under different environmental conditions could broaden germplasm resources and simplify hybrid production. However, molecular mechanisms potentially underlying such a system in soybean were unclear. Here, using positional cloning, we identified a gene, MALE STERILITY 3 (MS3), which encodes a nuclear-localized protein containing a plant homeodomain (PHD)-finger domain. A spontaneous mutation in ms3 causing premature termination of MS3 translation and partial loss of the PHD-finger. Transgenetic analysis indicated that MS3 knockout resulted in nonfunctional pollen and no self-pollinated pods, and RNA-seq analysis revealed that MS3 affects the expression of genes associated with carbohydrate metabolism. Strikingly, the fertility of mutant ms3 can restore under long-d conditions. The mutant could thus be used to create a new, more stable photoperiod-sensitive genic male sterility line for two-line hybrid seed production, with significant impact on hybrid breeding and production.

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