Tracking the expression of photosensitive genic male sterility genes in rice
Njiruh, Nthakanio P.
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Photoperiod sensitive genic male sterile rice lines contain genes that induce complete sterility in high temperature and long day light length period, and revert to fertility in optimum low temperature and short day light length period. These lines are good candidates for hybrid rice seed production. The main challenge limiting their use in production of hybrid rice seeds is that of determining the exact time of their growth period when sterility gene(s) is expressed. The objective of this study was to determine the time in the rice growth period when the sterility gene(s) are expressed. Rice line ZAU11S106, a photoperiod sensitive genic male sterile line was used to test the hypothesis: it is possible to estimate time within ±2 days when photosensitive genic male sterility (PGMS) gene is expressed. Sowing was done in 9 rows in Hangzhou, China in the month of May and matured in August when day light length was over 14 h and day temperatures were over 30°C. At 57 days, old plants in row 1 were given short day length treatment and after every four days, the next row was included in the treatment. This was done until plants in row 1 flowered when the treatment was stopped. Plants given short day length treatment at 73 and 77 days old realized 6 and 0% seed set, respectively. At 73 and 77 days old, plants were at dyad and tetrad stages of pollen development, respectively. The conclusion was that, the sterility gene was expressed between the dyad and tetrad stage of pollen development.