Microscopic Characterization of a Transposon-Induced Male-Sterile, Female-Sterile Mutant in Glycine max L.

Thilges, Katherine
Chamberlin, Mark
Albertsen, Marc
Horner, Harry
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Premise of research. A male-sterile, female-sterile mutant was discovered in a w4-m mutable line of Glycine max L. The mechanism of its sterility was not well understood. Therefore, different cytological and microscopic techniques were undertaken to better understand the process of mutant phenotype development. Molecular research indicated that mer3 was responsible for the sterility.

Methodology. Macro images were collected of whole plants, flowers, anthers, pods, and ovules. Chromosome spreads from anthers at various meiotic stages were examined. Confocal scanning laser microscopy using optical sectioning was utilized on whole anthers and ovules at various developmental stages. Whole mature anthers and isolated pollen images were collected and studied with SEM.

Pivotal results. In observations of the mutant, male cell development was found to begin normally and then digresses at metaphase I of meiosis, when abnormal segregation of chromosomes with reduced bivalent formation was observed. It was the abnormal formation of univalents and bivalents that led to male sterility. On the female side, the progression of development was arrested in the megagametophyte stage likely because of abnormal meiosis, leading to ovule abortion and female sterility.

Conclusions. The G. max male-sterile, female-sterile mutant was shown to have the same phenotype of mer3 sterility already shown in Arabidopsis, rice, yeast, and some animal systems.


This article is published as Thilges, Katherine A., Mark A. Chamberlin, Marc C. Albertsen, and Harry T. Horner. "Microscopic characterization of a transposon-induced male-sterile, female-sterile mutant in Glycine max L." International Journal of Plant Sciences 178, no. 8 (2017): 629-638. doi: 10.1086/693857. Posted with permission.

female sterility (FS), Glycine max, male sterility (MS), mer3, soybean, transposon