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      Pollen semi-sterility1 encodes a kinesin-1-like protein important for male meiosis, anther dehiscence, and fertility in rice.

      The Plant cell
      Cloning, Molecular, Gametogenesis, Plant, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Genetic Complementation Test, Kinesin, genetics, metabolism, Meiosis, Mutation, Oryza sativa, growth & development, Plant Infertility, Plant Proteins, Plants, Genetically Modified, Pollen, ultrastructure, RNA, Plant

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          Abstract

          In flowering plants, male meiosis produces four microspores, which develop into pollen grains and are released by anther dehiscence to pollinate female gametophytes. The molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating male meiosis in rice (Oryza sativa) remain poorly understood. Here, we describe a rice pollen semi-sterility1 (pss1) mutant, which displays reduced spikelet fertility (~40%) primarily caused by reduced pollen viability (~50% viable), and defective anther dehiscence. Map-based molecular cloning revealed that PSS1 encodes a kinesin-1-like protein. PSS1 is broadly expressed in various organs, with highest expression in panicles. Furthermore, PSS1 expression is significantly upregulated during anther development and peaks during male meiosis. The PSS1-green fluorescent protein fusion is predominantly localized in the cytoplasm of rice protoplasts. Substitution of a conserved Arg (Arg-289) to His in the PSS1 motor domain nearly abolishes its microtubule-stimulated ATPase activity. Consistent with this, lagging chromosomes and chromosomal bridges were found at anaphase I and anaphase II of male meiosis in the pss1 mutant. Together, our results suggest that PSS1 defines a novel member of the kinesin-1 family essential for male meiotic chromosomal dynamics, male gametogenesis, and anther dehiscence in rice.

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