Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences reveals new regulatory factors of rice pollen fertility
By: Date: 2022-07-20 Categories: foodtechnology Tags: ,
Crop pollen sterile germplasm is the basis of heterosis utilization. Pollen has a complex cell wall (mainly composed of sporopollenin, which can be divided into outer wall and inner wall). Pollen wall gives pollen the ability to resist biological and abiotic stresses, and participates in the interaction and information exchange between pollen and stigma cells, which is an important factor determining pollen activity and function. At present, many genes that affect the biosynthesis of sporopollen precursors have been found, but the known regulatory factors are limited.
 
Wangtai research group of Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and others found that the methylated CpG site binding protein family member pem1 expressed in rice pollen is an important regulator regulating the formation of pollen outer wall. The lack of function of this gene leads to the amorphous thickening of the outer wall of pollen and the abnormality of wustite, which leads to the degradation of pollen. Further studies found that the functional deletion of this gene caused a significant increase in the expression level of genes related to transcription inhibition, signal transduction and cell wall metabolism, as well as a significant increase in the content of horny and waxy components of sporopollen precursors, suggesting that pem1 regulates the development of pollen outer wall by negatively regulating the expression of a group of genes, which may be the main regulator of pollen development. Sequence analysis showed that the pem1 homologous sequence was conserved in monocotyledons, suggesting that the pem1 homologous gene had similar functions in the pollen development of other monocotyledons.
 
This study reveals a new major regulator of pollen fertility in rice, which provides a new entry point for analyzing the regulatory network of pollen outer wall development, and also provides a new gene element for the genetic operation of plant male fertility.
 
Recently, relevant research results were published online in the plant journal. The research was supported by the strategic leading science and technology project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.