MYO, a Candidate Gene for Haploid Induction in Maize Causes Male Sterility
Doubled haploid technology is highly successful in maize breeding programs and is contingent on the ability of maize inducers to efficiently produce haploids. Knowledge of the genes involved in haploid induction is important for not only developing better maize inducers, but also to create inducers in other crops. The main quantitative trait loci involved in maize haploid induction are qhir1 and qhir8. The gene underlying qhir1 has been discovered and validated by independent research groups. Prior to initiation of this study, the gene associated with qhir8 had yet to be recognized. Therefore, this research focused on characterizing positional candidate genes underlying qhir8. Pursuing this goal, a strong candidate for qhir8, GRMZM2G435294 (MYO), was silenced by RNAi. Analysis of crosses with these heterozygous RNAi-transgenic lines for haploid induction rate revealed that the silencing of MYO significantly enhanced haploid induction rate by an average of 0.6% in the presence of qhir1. Recently, GRMZM2G465053 (ZmDMP) was identified by map-based gene isolation and shown to be responsible for qhir8. While our results suggest that MYO may contribute to haploid induction rate, results were inconsistent and only showing minor increases in haploid induction rate compared to ZmDMP. Instead, reciprocal crosses clearly revealed that the silencing of MYO causes male sterility.
This article is published as Vanous, K.; Lübberstedt, T.; Ibrahim, R.; Frei, U.K. MYO, a Candidate Gene for Haploid Induction in Maize Causes Male Sterility. Plants 2020, 9, 773. doi: 10.3390/plants9060773.