A rice genic male-sterility gene ms-h is recessive and has a pleiotropic effect on the chalky endosperm. After fine mapping, nucleotide sequencing analysis of the ms-h gene revealed a single nucleotide substitution at the 3′-splice junction of the 14th intron of the UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase 1 (UGPase1; EC22.214.171.124) gene, which causes the expression of two mature transcripts with abnormal sizes caused by the aberrant splicing. An in vitro functional assay showed that both proteins encoded by the two abnormal transcripts have no UGPase activity. The suppression of UGPase by the introduction of a UGPase1-RNAi construct in wild-type plants nearly eliminated seed set because of the male defect, with developmental retardation similar to the ms-h mutant phenotype, whereas overexpression of UGPase1 in ms-h mutant plants restored male fertility and the transformants produced T1 seeds that segregated into normal and chalky endosperms. In addition, both phenotypes were co-segregated with the UGPase1 transgene in segregating T 1 plants, which demonstrates that UGPase1 has functional roles in both male sterility and the development of a chalky endosperm. Our results suggest that UGPase1 plays a key role in pollen development as well as seed carbohydrate metabolism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology