Fine regulation of ARF17 for anther development and pollen formation.
ABSTRACT: In Arabidopsis, the tapetum and microsporocytes are critical for pollen formation. Previous studies have shown that ARF17 is expressed in microsporocytes and tetrads and directly regulates tetrad wall synthesis for pollen formation. ARF17 is the direct target of miR160, and promoterARF17::5mARF17 (5mARF17/WT) transgenic plants, which have five silent mutations within the miR160-complementary domain, are sterile.Here, we found that ARF17 is also expressed in the tapetum, which was defective in arf17 mutants. Compared with arf17 mutants, 5mARF17/WT plants had abnormal tapetal cells and tetrads but were less vacuolated in the tapetum. Immunocytochemical assays showed that the ARF17 protein over-accumulated in tapetum, microsporocytes and tetrads of 5mARF17/WT plants at early anther stages, but its expression pattern was not affected during anther development. 5mARF17 driven by its native promoter did not rescue the arf17 male-sterile phenotype. The expression of 5mARF17 driven by the tapetum-specific promoter A9 led to a defective tapetum and male sterility in transgenic plants. These results suggest that the overexpression of ARF17 in the tapetum and microsporocytes of 5mARF17/WT plants leads to male sterility. Microarray data revealed that an abundance of genes involved in transcription and translation are ectopically expressed in 5mARF17/WT plants.Our work shows that ARF17 plays an essential role in anther development and pollen formation, and ARF17 expression under miR160 regulation is critical for its function during anther development.
Project description:Callose synthesis is critical for the formation of the pollen wall pattern. CalS5 is thought to be the major synthethase for the callose wall. In the Arabidopsis anther, ARF17 regulates the expression of CalS5 and is the target of miR160. Plants expressing miR160-resistant ARF17 (35S:5mARF17 lines) with increased ARF17 mRNA levels display male sterility. Here we report a zinc finger family gene, AtTTP, which is involved in miR160 maturation and callose synthesis in Arabidopsis. AtTTP is expressed in microsporocytes, tetrads and tapetal cells in the anther. Over-expression lines of AtTTP (AtTTP-OE line) exhibited reduced male fertility. CalS5 expression was tremendously reduced and the tetrad callose wall became much thinner in the AtTTP-OE line. Northern blotting hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that miR160 was decreased, while the expression of ARF17 was increased in the AtTTP-OE line. Based on these results, we propose that AtTTP associates with miR160 in order to regulate the ARF17 expression needed for callose synthesis and pollen wall formation.
Project description:Cell differentiation is essential for the development of multicellular organisms. In flowering plants, the haploid male gametophytes (pollen grains) are generated in the anther from reproductive cells called microsporocytes. Several types of somatic cells ensure successful pollen development, and thus reproduction. However, it is not clear what genes regulate the differentiation of these diverse, highly specialized cells in the anther. We report here the isolation and characterization of a novel Arabidopsis thaliana male sterile mutant, excess microsporocytes1 (ems1), that produces excess microsporocytes, lacks tapetal cells, and abnormally maintains middle layer cells. Although the meiotic nuclear division in the ems1 mutant is normal, the microsporocytes do not undergo cytokinesis, resulting in failed microsporogenesis and male sterility. The EMS1 gene encodes a putative leucine-rich repeat receptor protein kinase (LRR-RPK), and its expression is associated with the differentiation of the microsporocytes and tapetal cells, suggesting that EMS1 mediates signals that control the fate of reproductive cells and their contiguous somatic cells.
Project description:A fundamental feature of sexual reproduction in plants and animals is the specification of reproductive cells that conduct meiosis to form gametes, and the associated somatic cells that provide nutrition and developmental cues to ensure successful gamete production. The anther, which is the male reproductive organ in seed plants, produces reproductive microsporocytes (pollen mother cells) and surrounding somatic cells. The microsporocytes yield pollen via meiosis, and the somatic cells, particularly the tapetum, are required for the normal development of pollen. It is not known how the reproductive cells affect the differentiation of these somatic cells, and vice versa. Here, we use molecular genetics, cell biological, and biochemical approaches to demonstrate that TPD1 (TAPETUM DETERMINANT1) is a small secreted cysteine-rich protein ligand that interacts with the LRR (Leucine-Rich Repeat) domain of the EMS1 (EXCESS MICROSPOROCYTES1) receptor kinase at two sites. Analyses of the expressions and localizations of TPD1 and EMS1, ectopic expression of TPD1, experimental missorting of TPD1, and ablation of microsporocytes yielded results suggesting that the precursors of microsporocyte/microsporocyte-derived TPD1 and pre-tapetal-cell-localized EMS1 initially promote the periclinal division of secondary parietal cells and then determine one of the two daughter cells as a functional tapetal cell. Our results also indicate that tapetal cells suppress microsporocyte proliferation. Collectively, our findings show that tapetal cell differentiation requires reproductive-cell-secreted TPD1, illuminating a novel mechanism whereby signals from reproductive cells determine somatic cell fate in plant sexual reproduction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:During pollen wall formation in flowering plants, a conserved metabolon consisting of acyl-CoA synthetase (ACOS), polyketide synthase (PKS) and tetraketide α-pyrone reductase (TKPR), is required for sporopollenin synthesis. Despite this, the precise function of each of these components in different species remains unclear. RESULTS:In this study, we characterized the function of OsTKPR1, a rice orthologue of Arabidopsis TKPR1. Loss of function of OsTKPR1 delayed tapetum degradation, reduced the levels of anther cuticular lipids, and impaired Ubisch body and pollen exine formation, resulting in complete male sterility. In addition, the phenylpropanoid pathway in mutant anthers was remarkably altered. Localization studies suggest that OsTKPR1 accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum, while specific accumulation of OsTKPR1 mRNA in the anther tapetum and microspores is consistent with its function in anther and pollen wall development. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that OsTKPR1 is indispensable for anther cuticle development and pollen wall formation in rice, providing new insights into the biochemical mechanisms of the conserved sporopollenin metabolon in flowering plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Male sterility is an efficient trait for hybrid seed production and germplasm innovation. Until now, most studies on male sterility were on cytoplasmic and recessive genic sterility, with few on dominant genic male sterility, especially in cotton, due to lack of such mutant. RESULTS:We discovered a natural male sterile (MS) Sea Island cotton (G. barbadense) mutant. Genetic analysis showed the mutation was caused by a dominant mutation in a single nuclear gene. Comparative cytological observation of anther sections from MS and wild-type (WT) uncovered cellular differences in anther at and after the tetrad stage of pollen mother cells (PMC). In the MS anthers, the outer wall of pollen grains was free of spinules, the tapetum was vacuolated and showed delayed degradation, consequently, no functional pollen grains. Comparison of transcriptomes from meiosis, tetrad, mononuclear and binuclear pollen, and pollen maturation stages identified 13,783 non-redundant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between MS and WT. Based on the number of DEGs, analyses of enriched GO terms and KEGG pathways, it was evident that significant transcriptomic changes occurred at and after the tetrad stage, consistent with cytological observation, and that the major differences were on metabolism of starch, sucrose, ascorbate, aldarate, alanine, aspartate and glutamate, and biosynthesis of cutin, suberine and wax. WGCNA analysis identified five modules containing 920 genes highly related to anther development, especially the greenyellow module with 54 genes that was highly associated with PMC meiosis and tetrad formation. A NAC transcription factor (Gh_D11G2469) was identified as a hub gene for this module, which warrants further functional characterization. CONCLUSIONS:We demonstrated that the MS trait was controlled by a single dominant nuclear gene and caused by delayed tapetum degradation at the tetrad stage. Comparative transcriptome analysis and gene network construction identified DEGs, enriched GO terms and metabolic pathways, and hub genes potentially associated with anther development and the MS trait. These results contribute to our understanding of dominant genic male sterility (DGMS) and provided source for innovation of cotton germplasm.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Dioecism characterizes many crop species of economic value, including kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa). Kiwifruit male sterility occurs at the microspore stage. The cell walls of the microspores and the pollen of the male-sterile and male-fertile flowers, respectively, differ in glucose and galactose levels. In numerous plants, pollen formation involves normal functioning and degeneration timing of the tapetum, with calcium and carbohydrates provided by the tapetum essential for male fertility. The aim of this study was to determine whether the anther wall controls male fertility in kiwifruit, providing calcium and carbohydrates to the microspores.<h4>Methods</h4>The events occurring in the anther wall and microspores of male-fertile and male-sterile anthers were investigated by analyses of light microscopy, epifluorescence, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL assay) and transmission electron microscopy coupled with electron spectroscopy. The possibility that male sterility was related to anther tissue malfunctioning with regard to calcium/glucose/galactose provision to the microspores was also investigated by in vitro anther culture.<h4>Key results</h4>Both tapetum and the middle layer showed secretory activity and both degenerated by programmed cell death (PCD), but PCD was later in male-sterile than in male-fertile anthers. Calcium accumulated in cell walls of the middle layer and tapetum and in the exine of microspores and pollen, reaching higher levels in anther wall tissues and dead microspores of male-sterile anthers. A specific supply of glucose and calcium induced normal pollen formation in in vitro-cultured anthers of the male-sterile genotype.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results show that male sterility in kiwifruit is induced by anther wall tissues through prolonged secretory activity caused by a delay in PCD, in the middle layer in particular. In vitro culture results support the sporophytic control of male fertility in kiwifruit and open the way to applications to overcome dioecism and optimize kiwifruit production.
Project description:Male fertility in flowering plants depends on proper cellular differentiation in anthers. Meiosis and tapetum development are particularly important processes in pollen production. In this study, we showed that the tomato male sterile (ms10(35)) mutant of cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) exhibited dysfunctional meiosis and an abnormal tapetum during anther development, resulting in no pollen production. We demonstrated that Ms10(35) encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that is specifically expressed in meiocyte and tapetal tissue from pre-meiotic to tetrad stages. Transgenic expression of the Ms10(35) gene from its native promoter complemented the male sterility of the ms10(35) mutant. In addition, RNA-sequencing-based transcriptome analysis revealed that Ms10(35) regulates 246 genes involved in anther development processes such as meiosis, tapetum development, cell-wall degradation, pollen wall formation, transport, and lipid metabolism. Our results indicate that Ms10(35) plays key roles in regulating both meiosis and programmed cell death of the tapetum during microsporogenesis.
Project description:In flowering plants, the tapetum, the innermost layer of the anther, provides both nutrient and lipid components to developing microspores, pollen grains, and the pollen coat. Though the programmed cell death of the tapetum is one of the most critical and sensitive steps for fertility and is affected by various environmental stresses, its regulatory mechanisms remain mostly unknown. Here we show that autophagy is required for the metabolic regulation and nutrient supply in anthers and that autophagic degradation within tapetum cells is essential for postmeiotic anther development in rice. Autophagosome-like structures and several vacuole-enclosed lipid bodies were observed in postmeiotic tapetum cells specifically at the uninucleate stage during pollen development, which were completely abolished in a retrotransposon-insertional OsATG7 (autophagy-related 7)-knockout mutant defective in autophagy, suggesting that autophagy is induced in tapetum cells. Surprisingly, the mutant showed complete sporophytic male sterility, failed to accumulate lipidic and starch components in pollen grains at the flowering stage, showed reduced pollen germination activity, and had limited anther dehiscence. Lipidomic analyses suggested impairment of editing of phosphatidylcholines and lipid desaturation in the mutant during pollen maturation. These results indicate a critical involvement of autophagy in a reproductive developmental process of rice, and shed light on the novel autophagy-mediated regulation of lipid metabolism in eukaryotic cells.
Project description:Understanding the control of fertility is critical for crop yield and breeding; this is particularly important for hybrid breeding to capitalize upon the resultant hybrid vigour. Different hybrid breeding systems have been adopted; however, these are challenging and crop specific. Mutants with environmentally reversible fertility offer valuable opportunities for hybrid breeding. The barley HvMS1 gene encodes a PHD-finger transcription factor that is expressed in the anther tapetum, which is essential for pollen development and causes complete male sterility when overexpressed in barley. This male sterility is due at least in part to indehiscent anthers resulting from incomplete tapetum degeneration, failure of anther opening, and sticky pollen under normal growth conditions (15 °C). However, dehiscence and fertility are restored when plants are grown at temperatures >20 °C, or when transferred to >20 °C during flowering prior to pollen mitosis I, with transfer at later stages unable to rescue fertility in vivo. As far as we are aware, this is the first report of thermosensitive male sterility in barley. This offers opportunities to understand the impact of temperature on pollen development and potential applications for environmentally switchable hybrid breeding systems; it also provides a 'female' male-sterile breeding tool that does not need emasculation to facilitate backcrossing.
Project description:Deeply conserved plant microRNAs (miRNAs) function as pivotal regulators of development. Nevertheless, in the model crop Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) several conserved miRNAs are still poorly annotated and knowledge about their functions is lacking. Here, the tomato miR171 family was functionally analyzed. We found that the tomato genome contains at least 11 SlMIR171 genes that are differentially expressed along tomato development. Downregulation of sly-miR171 in tomato was successfully achieved by transgenic expression of a short tandem target mimic construct (STTM171). Consequently, sly-miR171-targeted mRNAs were upregulated in the silenced plants. Target upregulation was associated with irregular compound leaf development and an increase in the number of axillary branches. A prominent phenotype of STTM171 expressing plants was their male sterility due to a production of a low number of malformed and nonviable pollen. We showed that sly-miR171 was expressed in anthers along microsporogenesis and significantly silenced upon STTM171 expression. Sly-miR171-silenced anthers showed delayed tapetum ontogenesis and reduced callose deposition around the tetrads, both of which together or separately can impair pollen development. Collectively, our results show that sly-miR171 is involved in the regulation of anther development as well as shoot branching and compound leaf morphogenesis.