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Theor Appl Genet. 2009 Apr;118(6):1199-209. doi: 10.1007/s00122-009-0974-9. Epub 2009 Feb 15.

ps-2, the gene responsible for functional sterility in tomato, due to non-dehiscent anthers, is the result of a mutation in a novel polygalacturonase gene.

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Graduate School of Experimental Plant Sciences, Wageningen UR Plant Breeding, PO Box 386, 6700 AJ, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The recessive mutation ps-2, which appeared spontaneously in tomato, confers functional male sterility due to non-dehiscent anthers. In this study, we isolated and characterized the PS-2 gene. A single nucleotide mutation in a novel tomato polygalacturonase gene is responsible for the ps-2 phenotype. The mutation in ps-2 is responsible for an alternative splicing during maturation of the pre-mRNA, which leads to an aberrant mRNA. Differentiation between ps-2 and wild type (PS-2) anthers only appears in the final developmental stage in which the stomium remains closed in the mutant. To our knowledge, this is the first functional sterility gene isolated in the Solanaceae family. The specific expression of the Arabidopsis homolog of PS-2 in the anther dehiscence zone suggests a conserved mode of action over the plant kingdom, which means that the repression of PS-2 homologs may be a potential way to introduce functional sterility in other species.

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