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Planta

, Volume 217, Issue 4, pp 559–565 | Cite as

Male-sterility of thermosensitive genic male-sterile rice is associated with premature programmed cell death of the tapetum

  • Sujin Ku
  • Hyejin Yoon
  • Hak Soo Suh
  • Yong-Yoon Chung
Original Article

Abstract

The tapetum plays a crucial role in pollen development. This secretory tissue produces numerous nutritive proteins necessary for pollen maturation. The tapetum, whose cells undergo programmed cell death (PCD), is completely diminished by the time the pollen is fully mature. Our previous studies on a thermosensitive genic male-sterile (TGMS) rice (Oryza sativa L.) suggested that male-sterility was due to failure in pollen development. In this paper we describe how further analysis of the TGMS rice revealed that male-sterility is associated with premature PCD of the tapetum. Cytological observations of TGMS rice anthers at various developmental stages indicated that PCD initiates at an early stage of pollen development and continues until the tapetal cells are completely degraded, resulting in pollen collapse. Transmission electron microscopy showed the morphologically distinct hallmarks of apoptosis, including cytoplasmic shrinkage, membrane blebbing, and vacuolation. Identification of DNA fragmentation using the TUNEL assay supports the hypothesis that premature PCD is associated with male-sterility in the rice. The tissue-specific feature of the thermosensitive genic male-sterile phenotype is discussed with regard to PCD during anther development.

Keywords

Anther Male-sterility Oryza Programmed cell death Tapetum 

Abbreviations

CMS

cytoplasmic male-sterility

EGMS

environmental genic male-sterility

PCD

programmed cell death

TGMS

thermo-sensitive genic male-sterility

TUNEL

TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Breeding Research, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation. We acknowledge the Wild Crop Germplasm Bank of Yeungnam University for providing the TGMS rice used in this study. We also thank Dr. Martin B. Dickman of the University of Nebraska for his comments regarding this manuscript and Sanghyun Lee for his helps in preparing figures. S. Ku and H. Yoon contributed equally to this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujin Ku
    • 1
  • Hyejin Yoon
    • 1
  • Hak Soo Suh
    • 2
  • Yong-Yoon Chung
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyKorea UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.School of Biological Resources, College of Natural ResourcesYeungnam UniversityKyongsanKorea

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