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Cytological characterization and allelism testing of anther developmental mutants identified in a screen of maize male sterile lines.

  • Author(s): Timofejeva, Ljudmilla;
  • Skibbe, David S;
  • Lee, Sidae;
  • Golubovskaya, Inna;
  • Wang, Rachel;
  • Harper, Lisa;
  • Walbot, Virginia;
  • Cande, William Zacheus
  • et al.

Proper regulation of anther differentiation is crucial for producing functional pollen, and defects in or absence of any anther cell type result in male sterility. To deepen understanding of processes required to establish premeiotic cell fate and differentiation of somatic support cell layers a cytological screen of maize male-sterile mutants has been conducted which yielded 42 new mutants including 22 mutants with premeiotic cytological defects (increasing this class fivefold), 7 mutants with postmeiotic defects, and 13 mutants with irregular meiosis. Allelism tests with known and new mutants confirmed new alleles of four premeiotic developmental mutants, including two novel alleles of msca1 and single new alleles of ms32, ms8, and ocl4, and two alleles of the postmeiotic ms45. An allelic pair of newly described mutants was found. Premeiotic mutants are now classified into four categories: anther identity defects, abnormal anther structure, locular wall defects and premature degradation of cell layers, and/or microsporocyte collapse. The range of mutant phenotypic classes is discussed in comparison with developmental genetic investigation of anther development in rice and Arabidopsis to highlight similarities and differences between grasses and eudicots and within the grasses.

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