The anther cuticle and pollen wall function as physical barriers that protect genetic material from various environmental stresses. The anther cuticle is composed of wax and cutin, the pollen wall includes exine and intine, and the components of the outer exine are collectively called sporopollenin. Other than cuticle wax, cutin and sporopollenin are biopolymers compounds. The precise constituents and developmental mechanism of these biopolymeric are poorly understood. Here, we reported a complete male sterile mutant, male sterile6021, in maize. The mutant displayed a smooth anther surface and irregular pollen wall formation before anthesis, and its tapetum was degraded immaturely. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis revealed a severe reduction of lipid derivatives in the mutant anther. We cloned the gene by map based cloning. It encoded a fatty acyl carrier protein reductase that was localized in plastids. Expression analysis indicated that MS6021 was mainly expressed in the tapetum and microspore after the microspore was released from the tetrad. Functional complementation of the orthologous Arabidopsis mutant demonstrated that MS6021 is conserved between monocots and dicots and potentially even in flowering plants. MS6021 plays a conserved, essential role in the successful development of anther cuticle and pollen exine in maize.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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