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Plant Cell Rep. 2016 May;35(5):967-93. doi: 10.1007/s00299-016-1949-3. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in hybrid breeding in field crops.

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Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur, India.
Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur, India.
National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology (NRCPB), New Delhi, India.


A comprehensive understanding of CMS/Rf system enabled by modern omics tools and technologies considerably improves our ability to harness hybrid technology for enhancing the productivity of field crops. Harnessing hybrid vigor or heterosis is a promising approach to tackle the current challenge of sustaining enhanced yield gains of field crops. In the context, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) owing to its heritable nature to manifest non-functional male gametophyte remains a cost-effective system to promote efficient hybrid seed production. The phenomenon of CMS stems from a complex interplay between maternally-inherited (mitochondrion) and bi-parental (nucleus) genomic elements. In recent years, attempts aimed to comprehend the sterility-inducing factors (orfs) and corresponding fertility determinants (Rf) in plants have greatly increased our access to candidate genomic segments and the cloned genes. To this end, novel insights obtained by applying state-of-the-art omics platforms have substantially enriched our understanding of cytoplasmic-nuclear communication. Concomitantly, molecular tools including DNA markers have been implicated in crop hybrid breeding in order to greatly expedite the progress. Here, we review the status of diverse sterility-inducing cytoplasms and associated Rf factors reported across different field crops along with exploring opportunities for integrating modern omics tools with CMS-based hybrid breeding.


Cytoplasm; DNA marker; Fertility; Gene; Genome; Hybrid; Sterility

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