Postmeiotic development is a unique characteristic of flowering plants. During the development, microspores undergo two cycles of mitosis (PMI and PMII) and a subsequent maturation process to finally produce the mature pollen, but the mechanism underlying the development is still largely unknown. Here, we report on the roles of a novel gene, RA68, in postmeiotic pollen development in Oryza sativa. RA68 was expressed preferentially in shoots and flowers. In flowers, the transcript persisted from the floral organ differentiation to the mature pollen stages and showed preferential accumulation in male meiocytes, developing pollen and tapetal cells. RA68-deficient RNAi lines showed reduced seed setting and pollen viability but not an aberrant phenotype in vegetative organs. Knockdown of RA68 led to arrested PMI, smaller pollen grains with little or no starch, and aborted pollen but not severely distruped male meiosis. Additionally, no abnormality of anther wall development was observed in RA68-RNAi lines. RA68 may be required for postmeiotic pollen development by affecting PMI and starch accumulation.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 4, 2009
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