PloS one

MS26/CYP704B is required for anther and pollen wall development in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and combining mutations in all three homeologs causes male sterility.

PMID 28520767


Development of anthers and pollen represents an important aspect of the life cycle in flowering plants. Genes contributing to anther and pollen development have been widely studied in many plant species. Ms26/CYP704B genes play an important role in pollen development through biosynthesis of sporopollenin for pollen exine formation. To investigate the role of Ms26/CYP704B genes in anther and pollen development of bread wheat, mutations in the A-, B-, and D-homeologs of the putative Ms26/CYP704B gene were analyzed. Single and double homozygous mutants in any of the homeologs did not affect pollen development and male fertility. Triple homozygous mutants resulted in completely male sterile plants that were defective in pollen and anther development. Additionally, double homozygous-single heterozygous mutants were also male sterile although with varying levels of residual fertility. The fertility of these triple mutants was dependent upon the homeolog contributing the wild-type allele. Two heterologous Ms26/CYP704B genes, when transformed into a triple homozygous mutant background, completely restored male fertility, whereas a single gene was unable to restore fertility. Functional analysis of Ms26/CYP704B furthers the understanding of male fertility genes which can be utilized for the development of novel hybrid seed production systems in wheat.

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