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Crop Biotech Update

Rice VCS1 as Tool to Mark and Visualize Vegetative Cell of Pollen

May 26, 2021

Chinese Academy of Sciences reported that VCS1 can serve as a molecular tool to mark and visualize the vegetative cell of rice pollen. Their findings are available in Plant Signaling & Behavior.

Cell-type-specific markers are considered as relevant tools to identify developmental processes in cell differentiation during plant reproduction. CAS scientists characterized Vegetative Cell Specific 1 (VCS1) of rice, which is expressed particularly in late pollen and was projected to encode a small protein of 205 amino acid residues.  Reporter fusion protein expression indicated that VCS1 was exclusively targeted to the vegetative nucleus of pollen. During pollen germination, VCS1 lost vegetative nucleus localization, and seemed diffused in the vegetative cytoplasm of pollen grain but not in the pollen tube. T-DNA insertion disrupted a portion of VCS1 but did not affect plant growth and pollen development. On the other hand, VCS1 destruction through CRISPR-Cas9 moderately affected pollen viability.

The results of the study indicate that VCS1 is vital in visualizing the vegetative cell of rice and possible other monocots, with potential implications in developing male-sterile lines.

Read more findings in Plant Signaling & Behavior.

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