A novel mitochondrial orf147 causes cytoplasmic male sterility in pigeonpea by modulating aberrant anther dehiscence

Bhatnagar-Mathur, P and Gupta, R and Reddy, P S and Reddy, B P and Reddy, D S and Sameer Kumar, C V and Saxena, R K and Sharma, K K (2018) A novel mitochondrial orf147 causes cytoplasmic male sterility in pigeonpea by modulating aberrant anther dehiscence. Plant Molecular Biology (TSI), 97 (1-2). pp. 131-147. ISSN 0167-4412

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Key message A novel open reading frame (ORF) identified and cloned from the A4 cytoplasm of Cajanus cajanifolius induced partial to complete male sterility when introduced into Arabidopsis and tobacco. Abstract Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.) is the only legume known to have commercial hybrid seed technology based on cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). We identified a novel ORF (orf147) from the A4 cytoplasm of C. cajanifolius that was created via rearrangements in the CMS line and co-transcribes with the known and unknown sequences. The bi/poly-cistronic transcripts cause gain-of-function variants in the mitochondrial genome of CMS pigeonpea lines having distinct processing mechanisms and transcription start sites. In presence of orf147, significant repression of Escherichia coli growth indicated its toxicity to the host cells and induced partial to complete male sterility in transgenic progenies of Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum where phenotype co-segregated with the transgene. The male sterile plants showed aberrant floral development and reduced lignin content in the anthers. Gene expression studies in male sterile pigeonpea, Arabidopsis and tobacco plants confirmed down-regulation of several anther biogenesis genes and key genes involved in monolignol biosynthesis, indicative of regulation of retrograde signaling. Besides providing evidence for the involvement of orf147 in pigeonpea CMS, this study provides valuable insights into its function. Cytotoxicity and aberrant programmed cell death induced by orf147 could be important for mechanism underlying male sterility that offers opportunities for possible translation for these findings for exploiting hybrid vigor in other recalcitrant crops as well.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Research Program : Genetic Gains
Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arabidopsis, Cajanus cajan, Cytoplasmic male sterility, Hybrid vigor, Pigeonpea, Tobacco
Subjects: Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 06:04
Last Modified: 16 May 2018 06:04
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10667
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11103-018-0728-7
Acknowledgement: This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes. Thanks to Rahul Nitnavare, Chavvi Srivastava, Divya and Kedarinath for their technical assistance with the transformation and gene expression studies and PS Rao for photography. Critical reviews of the manuscript by Drs. Gopalan Selvaraj, Rajeev Gupta and Damaris Odeny are gratefully acknowledged.
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