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Theor Appl Genet. 2007 Mar;114(5):915-25. Epub 2007 Feb 8.

Two novel loci for pollen sterility in hybrids between the weedy strain Ludao and the Japonica variety Akihikari of rice (Oryza sativa L.).

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State Key Laboratory for Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Jiangsu Plant Gene Engineering Research Center, Nanjing Agricultural University, 210095, Nanjing, China.


Partial pollen sterility has been observed in hybrid progeny derived from a japonica cultivar, Akihikari and a weedy strain, Ludao, which naturally grows in Jiangsu province of east China. Cytological and histological analyses revealed that pollen abortion occurred largely at the bicellular pollen stage, primarily due to the gradual disaggregation of generative and vegetative cells. A genome-wide analysis was further carried out in a backcross population of Akihikari //Ludao/Akihikari using a total of 118 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and an expressed sequence tag (EST) marker distributed on the entire rice linkage map. Two loci controlling hybrid pollen sterility, designated as S33(t) and S34(t), were located on chromosomes 3 and 11, respectively. Both loci were putatively different from all the previously reported gametophyte genes and hybrid pollen sterility loci. Interaction between the Ludao and Akihikari alleles at each of the two loci resulted in reduction of fertility in the pollens carring the Ludao alleles. To map the precise location of the major locus, S33(t), we selected 165 plants of the backcross population with pollen fertility higher than 80.0%, and assayed the recombinant events surrounding the S33(t) locus using newly developed SSR markers. The S33(t) was delimited to an 86 kb region between SSR markers RM15621 and RM15627. Sequence analysis of this region indicated that there were ten open reading frames. These results will be valuable for cloning this gene and marker-assisted transferring of the corresponding neutral allele in rice breeding programs. Furthermore, the origin of the weedy strain Ludao is discussed.

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