Crop Biotech Update

OsPKS2 Controls Rice Male Fertility by Regulating Pollen Wall Formation

February 14, 2018

The pollen wall protects male gametes from various environmental stresses and pathogen attacks, as well as promotes pollen germination. The synthesis of sporopollenin is critical for pollen wall formation. Recently, sporopollenin metabolism has been studied in pollen wall development in Arabidopsis. However, little is known about the sporopollenin synthesis in pollen wall formation in rice (Oryza sativa).

The team of Ting Zou of Sichuan Agricultural University in China identified that a point mutation in OsPKS2, a polyketide synthase gene, can cause male sterility in rice by affecting the normal progress of pollen wall formation. The team used CRISPR-Cas9 system to develop allelic mutants of OsPKS2. The resulting lines were observed to be completely male sterile.

This result confirms that OsPKS2 controls rice male fertility and suggest that it is critical for pollen wall formation.

For more information, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.