Rice Undeveloped Tapetum1 is a major regulator of early tapetum development. (1/178)

The tapetum, the innermost of four sporophytic layers in the anther wall, comes in direct contact with the developing male gametophyte and is thought to play a crucial role in the development and maturation of microspores. Here, we report the identification of rice (Oryza sativa) Undeveloped Tapetum1 (Udt1), which is required for the differentiation of secondary parietal cells to mature tapetal cells. T-DNA or retrotransposon Tos17 insertions in the Udt1 gene caused male sterility. The anther walls and meiocytes of the mutants were normal during the early premeiosis stage, but their tapeta failed to differentiate and became vacuolated during the meiotic stage. In addition, meiocytes did not develop to microspores, and middle layer degeneration was inhibited. Consequently, the anther locules contained no pollen. The UDT1:green fluorescent protein fusion protein was localized to the nucleus. This, together with its homology with other basic helix-loop-helix proteins, suggests that UDT1 is a transcription factor. DNA microarray analysis identified 958 downregulated and 267 upregulated genes in the udt1-1 anthers, suggesting that Udt1 plays a major role in maintaining tapetum development, starting in early meiosis.  (+info)

Low temperature treatment at the young microspore stage induces protein changes in rice anthers. (2/178)

Male reproductive development in rice is very sensitive to various forms of environmental stresses including low temperature. A few days of cold treatment (<20 degrees C) at the young microspore stage induce severe pollen sterility and thus large grain yield reductions. To investigate this phenomenon, anther proteins at the early stages of microspore development, with or without cold treatment at 12 degrees C, were extracted, separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and compared. The cold-sensitive cultivar Doongara and the relatively cold-tolerant cultivar HSC55 were used. The abundance of 37 anther proteins was changed more than 2-fold after 1, 2, and 4 days of cold treatment in cv. Doongara. Among them, one protein was newly induced, 32 protein spots were up-regulated, and four protein spots were down-regulated. Of these 37 protein spots, we identified two anther-specific proteins (putative lipid transfer protein and Osg6B) and a calreticulin that were down-regulated and a cystine synthase, a beta-6 subunit of the 20 S proteasome, an H protein of the glycine cleavage system, cytochrome c oxidase subunit VB, an osmotin protein homologue, a putative 6-phosphogluconolactonase, a putative adenylate kinase, a putative cysteine proteinase inhibitor, ribosomal protein S12E, a caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase, and a monodehydroascorbate reductase that were up-regulated. Identification of these proteins is available upon request. Accumulation of these proteins did not vary greatly after cold treatment in panicles of cv. Doongara or in the anthers of the cv. HSC55. The newly induced protein named Oryza sativa cold-induced anther protein (OsCIA) was identified as an unknown protein. The OsCIA protein was detected in panicles, leaves, and seedling tissues under normal growth conditions. Quantitative real time RT-PCR analysis of OsCIA mRNA expression showed no significant change between low temperature-treated and untreated plants. A possible regulatory role for the newly induced protein is proposed.  (+info)

Stigma development and receptivity in almond (Prunus dulcis). (3/178)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Fertilization is essential in almond production, and pollination can be limiting in production areas. This study investigated stigma receptivity under defined developmental stages to clarify the relationship between stigma morphology, pollen germination, tube growth and fruit set. METHODS: Light and scanning electron microscopy were employed to examine stigma development at seven stages of flower development ranging from buds that were swollen to flowers in which petals were abscising. Flowers at different stages were hand pollinated and pollen germination and tube growth assessed. Artificial pollinations in the field were conducted to determine the effect of flower age on fruit set. KEY RESULTS: Later stages of flower development exhibited greater stigma receptivity, i.e. higher percentages of pollen germination and more extensive tube growth occurred in older (those opened to the flat petal stage or exhibiting petal fall) than younger flowers. Enhanced stigma receptivity was associated with elongation of stigmatic papillae and increased amounts of stigmatic exudate that inundated papillae at later developmental stages. Field pollinations indicated that the stigma was still receptive and nut set was maintained in older flowers. CONCLUSIONS: Stigma receptivity in almond does not become optimal until flowers are past the fully open stage. The stigma is still receptive and fruit set is maintained in flowers even at the stage when petals are abscising. Strategies to enhance pollination and crop yield, including the timing and placement of honey bees, should consider the effectiveness of developmentally advanced flowers.  (+info)

The Arabidopsis thaliana PARTING DANCERS gene encoding a novel protein is required for normal meiotic homologous recombination. (4/178)

Recent studies of meiotic recombination in the budding yeast and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana indicate that meiotic crossovers (COs) occur through two genetic pathways: the interference-sensitive pathway and the interference-insensitive pathway. However, few genes have been identified in either pathway. Here, we describe the identification of the PARTING DANCERS (PTD) gene, as a gene with an elevated expression level in meiocytes. Analysis of two independently generated transferred DNA insertional lines in PTD showed that the mutants had reduced fertility. Further cytological analysis of male meiosis in the ptd mutants revealed defects in meiosis, including reduced formation of chiasmata, the cytological appearance of COs. The residual chiasmata in the mutants were distributed randomly, indicating that the ptd mutants are defective for CO formation in the interference-sensitive pathway. In addition, transmission electron microscopic analysis of the mutants detected no obvious abnormality of synaptonemal complexes and apparently normal late recombination nodules at the pachytene stage, suggesting that the mutant's defects in bivalent formation were postsynaptic. Comparison to other genes with limited sequence similarity raises the possibility that PTD may present a previously unknown function conserved in divergent eukaryotic organisms.  (+info)

MSH2 is essential for the preservation of genome integrity and prevents homeologous recombination in the moss Physcomitrella patens. (5/178)

MSH2 is a central component of the mismatch repair pathway that targets mismatches arising during DNA replication, homologous recombination (HR) and in response to genotoxic stresses. Here, we describe the function of MSH2 in the moss Physcomitrella patens, as deciphered by the analysis of loss of function mutants. Ppmsh2 mutants display pleiotropic growth and developmental defects, which reflect genomic instability. Based on loss of function of the APT gene, we estimated this mutator phenotype to be at least 130 times higher in the mutants than in wild type. We also found that MSH2 is involved in some but not all the moss responses to genotoxic stresses we tested. Indeed, the Ppmsh2 mutants were more tolerant to cisplatin and show higher sensitivity to UV-B radiations. PpMSH2 gene involvement in HR was studied by assessing gene targeting (GT) efficiency with homologous and homeologous sequences. GT efficiency with homologous sequences was slightly decreased in the Ppmsh2 mutant compared with wild type. Strikingly GT efficiency with homeologous sequences decreased proportionally to sequence divergence in the wild type whereas it remained unaffected in the mutants. Those results demonstrate the role of PpMSH2 in the maintenance of genome integrity and in homologous and homeologous recombination.  (+info)

A simple genetic incompatibility causes hybrid male sterility in mimulus. (6/178)

Much evidence has shown that postzygotic reproductive isolation (hybrid inviability or sterility) evolves by the accumulation of interlocus incompatibilities between diverging populations. Although in theory only a single pair of incompatible loci is needed to isolate species, empirical work in Drosophila has revealed that hybrid fertility problems often are highly polygenic and complex. In this article we investigate the genetic basis of hybrid sterility between two closely related species of monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus and M. nasutus. In striking contrast to Drosophila systems, we demonstrate that nearly complete hybrid male sterility in Mimulus results from a simple genetic incompatibility between a single pair of heterospecific loci. We have genetically mapped this sterility effect: the M. guttatus allele at the hybrid male sterility 1 (hms1) locus acts dominantly in combination with recessive M. nasutus alleles at the hybrid male sterility 2 (hms2) locus to cause nearly complete hybrid male sterility. In a preliminary screen to find additional small-effect male sterility factors, we identified one additional locus that also contributes to some of the variation in hybrid male fertility. Interestingly, hms1 and hms2 also cause a significant reduction in hybrid female fertility, suggesting that sex-specific hybrid defects might share a common genetic basis. This possibility is supported by our discovery that recombination is reduced dramatically in a cross involving a parent with the hms1-hms2 incompatibility.  (+info)

Cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence and amplified fragment length polymorphism markers linked to the fertility restorer gene in chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). (7/178)

Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in plants, which is due to failure to produce functional pollen, is a maternally inherited trait. Specific nuclear genes that sup-press CMS, termed fertility restorer (Rf) genes, have been identified in several plants. In this study, Rf-linked molecular markers in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) were detected by bulked segregant analysis of eight amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). Only AFRF8 was successfully converted to a cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) marker. This was named AFRF8CAPS and genotype determination using it agreed with that obtained with the original AFRF8. A linkage map with a total size of 54.1 cM was constructed with AFRF8CAPS and the seven AFLP markers using the Kosambi function. The AFRF8CAPS marker was shown to be closest to Rf with a genetic distance of 1.8 cM. These markers will be useful for fast and reliable detection of restorer lines during F(1) hybrid seed production and breeding programs in pepper.  (+info)

Oxalis debilis in China: distribution of flower morphs, sterile pollen and polyploidy. (8/178)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Oxalis debilis is a South American tristylous species that is currently naturalizing in China. Based on field observations and herbarium data a report is made on its pollination, morph frequencies, pollen viability, seed set and chromosome number. In addition, a new chromosome count for the species in Africa is provided. METHODS: Field observations were conducted in six provinces in south-east China. Flower visitors were recorded and nectar sugar was measured with a refractometer. The species' compatibility system was determined by carrying out experimental self- and cross-pollinations on bagged inflorescences. Stigma receptivity and pollen viability was determined using the MTT test. KEY RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Populations of O. debilis in China contain either the mid-style-length morph or the short morph, but not both. Pollination is by nectar- and pollen-foraging bees; pollen viability is low; and seed set in natural and experimentally self- or cross-pollinated flowers is extremely low. Chromosome counts indicate that O. debilis contains diploid and tetraploid forms in its native as well as introduced range, which does not support a previous hypothesis that the predominant vegetative reproduction in this species is an escape from pentaploidy.  (+info)