, Volume 177, Issue 2, pp 241-251
Date: 14 Sep 2010

Characterization of a male sterile mutant from progeny of a transgenic plant containing a leaf senescence-inhibition gene in wheat

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A male sterile plant of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) segregated from progenies of a transgenic family containing the leaf senescence-inhibition gene P SAG12 -IPT in the genetic background of ‘Xinong 1376’, a well adapted winter wheat cultivar. The male sterile plant (named TR1376A) showed no phenotypic changes, except for florets and male organs, compared to its male fertile sibling plants (named TR1376B). The glumes and florets of male sterile TR1376A plants widely opened whereas those of the fertile counterpart TR1376B were closed or opened only briefly at flowing. Anthers of TR1376A were slender and indehiscent, and failed to release pollen. Compared to TR1376B, TR1376A anthers contained greatly reduced amounts of pollen, which was inviable or weakly viable. Ultra-structure studies indicated that cells in the endothecium and middle layers of the anther wall were dissolved or poorly developed in the sterile anthers of TR1376A. Molecular studies showed that the male sterility of TR1376A was caused by a sequence deletion or mutation that occurred in the promoter region of the transgene. F1 hybrids of TR1376A and TR1376B gave 1:1 segregation of male fertility to sterility, indicating that the male sterility of TR1376A was heritable and controlled by a single dominant gene (named Ms1376). To date, only a few dominant nuclear male sterility genes have been characterized and one of them (Ms2) has been successfully used to improve wheat cultivars through recurrent breeding strategies. The discovery of the Ms1376 gene provides another dominant male sterile source for establishing recurrent breeding systems in wheat.