Chemical hybridization agent (CHA)-induced male sterility is an important tool in crop heterosis. 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. Microspores with low-viability (fluorescein diacetate staining) were aborted. The study suggests 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.
Wang, S., Zhang, G., Song, Q., Zhang, Y., Li, Z., Guo, J., … Wang, J. (2015). Abnormal development of tapetum and microspores induced by chemical hybridization agent SQ-1 in wheat. PLoS ONE, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119557