African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12294

Full Length Research Paper

Development of male sterility by silencing Bcp1 gene of Arabidopsis through RNA interference

Muhammad Tehseen1*, Muhammad Imran1, Mazhar Hussain1, Shazia Irum1, Shahid Ali2, Shahid Mansoor1 and Yusuf Zafar1
  1National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Jhang Road, Faisalabad, Pakistan. 2Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 March 2010
  •  Published: 10 May 2010



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