Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) plays a crucial role in the utilization of hybrid vigor. Pollen development is often accompanied by oxidative metabolism responses and tapetal programmed cell death (PCD), and deficiency in these processes could lead to male sterility. Aegilops uniaristata
cytoplasmic male sterility (Mu-CMS) wheat is a novel male-sterile line in wheat, which possess important potential in hybrid wheat breeding. However, its CMS mechanisms remain poorly understood. In our study, U87B1-706A, with the Aegilops uniaristata
cytoplasm, and the maintainer line 706B were used to explore the abortive reason. Compared with 706B, histological analysis and PCD detection of the anther demonstrated that U87B1-706A appeared as delayed tapetal PCD as well as a disorganized organelle phenotype in the early uninucleate stage. Subsequently, a shrunken microspore and disordered exine structure were exhibited in the late uninucleate stage. While the activities of antioxidase increased markedly, the nonenzymatic antioxidant contents declined obviously following overacummulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during pollen development in U87B1-706A. Real-time quantitative PCR testified that the transcript levels of the superoxide dismutase (SOD
), catalase (CAT
), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX
) genes, encoding pivotal antioxidant enzymes, were up-regulated in early pollen development. Therefore, we deduce excess ROS as a signal may be related to the increased expression levels of enzyme genes, thereby breaking the antioxidative system balance, resulting in delayed tapetal PCD initiation, which finally led to pollen abortion and male sterility in U87B1-706A. These results provide evidence to further explore the mechanisms of abortive pollen in CMS wheat.
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