RESEARCH ARTICLE Abnormal Development of Tapetum and Microspores Induced by Chemical Hybridization Agent SQ-1 in Wheat

Abstract

Chemical hybridization agent (CHA)-induced male sterility is an important tool in crop heter-osis. To demonstrate that CHA-SQ-1-induced male sterility is associated with abnormal tapetal and microspore development, the cytology of CHA-SQ-1-treated plant anthers at various developmental stages was studied by light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferasemediated dUTP nick end-labelling (TUNEL) assay and DAPI staining. The results indicated that the SQ-1-treated plants underwent premature tapetal programmed cell death (PCD), which was initiated at the early-uninucleate stage of microspore development and continued until the tapetal cells were completely degraded; the process of microspore development was then blocked. Mi-crospores with low-viability (fluorescein diacetate staining) were aborted. The study sug-gests that premature tapetal PCD is the main cause of pollen abortion. Furthermore, it determines the starting period and a key factor in CHA-SQ-1-induced male sterility at the cell level, and provides cytological evidence to further study the mechanism between PCD and male sterility

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