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Theor Appl Genet. 2013 Jul;126(7):1851-9. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2097-6. Epub 2013 Apr 21.

Variations in the structure and transcription of the mitochondrial atp and cox genes in wild Solanum species that induce male sterility in eggplant (S. melongena).

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  • 1Faculty of Life Sciences, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kamigamo, Kita, Kyoto 603-8555, Japan.


In order to determine the molecular basis of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in alloplasmic lines of eggplant, the genomic structures and transcription patterns of mitochondrial ATP synthase subunit (atp) and cytochrome oxidase subunit (cox) genes were studied for wild and cultivated eggplants. Alloplasmic eggplant lines with cytoplasms of wild Solanum species showing either anther indehiscent type of CMS or non-pollen production type of CMS were studied with the cultivated eggplant Solanum melongena, used as a control. Southern hybridization of the mitochondrial genes indicated the difference between the two types of CMS and showed complete identity within each type. The cytoplasmic patterns of all wild species differed from that of the cultivated eggplant. Thus, the cytoplasm of the six wild eggplants and the one cultivated eggplant was classified into three groups. Male sterile plants of both types of CMS showed novel transcription patterns of atp1, whereas a different transcription pattern of cox2 was observed only in the anther indehiscent type. Based on these differences, we determined the DNA sequences of about a 4 kbp segment in the atp1 region. Although the coding and 3' flanking regions were almost identical among the cytoplasms, the 5' flanking region was completely different and novel open reading frames (orfs) were found for each of the CMS types and the cultivated eggplant. The cytoplasm of Solanum kurzii inducing the anther indehiscent type CMS had orf312, and those of Solanum aethiopicum and Solanum grandifolium of non-pollen production type CMS had orf218. The correspondence between the transcription patterns of these orfs and phenotypic expression of male sterility strongly suggests that these orfs are causal genes for each type of CMS.

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