Fertility in barley flowers depends on Jekyll functions in male and female sporophytes
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust
Special Issue: Featured papers on ‘Bioenergy trees’
Volume 194, Issue 1, pages 142–157, April 2012
How to Cite
Radchuk, V., Kumlehn, J., Rutten, T., Sreenivasulu, N., Radchuk, R., Rolletschek, H., Herrfurth, C., Feussner, I. and Borisjuk, L. (2012), Fertility in barley flowers depends on Jekyll functions in male and female sporophytes. New Phytologist, 194: 142–157. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.04032.x
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2012
- Received: 19 August 2011, Accepted: 30 November 2011
- gametophyte–sporophyte interactions;
- gene expression;
- sexual reproduction
- •Owing to its evolutional plasticity and adaptability, barley (Hordeum vulgare) is one of the most widespread crops in the world. Despite this evolutionary success, sexual reproduction of small grain cereals is poorly investigated, making discovery of novel genes and functions a challenging priority. Barley gene Jekyll appears to be a key player in grain development; however, its role in flowers has remained unknown.
- •Here, we studied RNAi lines of barley, where Jekyll expression was repressed to different extents. The impact of Jekyll on flower development was evaluated based on differential gene expression analysis applied to anthers and gynoecia of wildtype and transgenic plants, as well as using isotope labeling experiments, hormone analysis, immunogold- and TUNEL-assays and in situ hybridization.
- •Jekyll is expressed in nurse tissues mediating gametophyte–sporophyte interaction in anthers and gynoecia, where JEKYLL was found within the intracellular membranes. The repression of Jekyll impaired pollen maturation, anther dehiscence and induced a significant loss of fertility. The presence of JEKYLL on the pollen surface also hints at possible involvement in the fertilization process.
- •We conclude that the role of Jekyll in cereal sexual reproduction is clearly much broader than has been hitherto realized.