The development of male sterility is one of the most important steps in hybrid seed production. Several methods for the abortion of pollens based on conventional as well as genetic engineering are reported for the various crop species. Here we have investigated the use of RNA interference (RNAi) technology to silence a male specific gene, Bcp1 in the model host Arabidopsis thaliana. Bcp1 is active in both diploid tapetum and haploid microspores. Three batches of explants (A. thaliana)were selected on herbicide glufosinate ammonium and putative transgenes were confirmed through PCR and Southern hybridization. About 49 out of 58 Arabidopsislines transformed with RNAi construct containing Bcp1 sequences were male sterile. Transgenic plants were phenotypically indistinguishable from non-transgenic plants and by crossing with non-transgenic fertile pollens successful seed set was observed. The Bcp1 gene was also amplified from chilies, tomato and brassica. The present study resulted in developing male sterile A. thaliana (Eco. Columbia)line through genetic engineering. The diversity of Bcp1 gene will help us to produce transgenic male sterile plants in crop plants.
Key words: RNA interference, male sterility, Bcp1, aborted pollen, Arabidopsis thaliana.
RNAi, RNA interference; CMS, cytoplasmic male sterility; CTAB,cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide
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