Genetic and Biochemical Analysis of Pollen Sterility
Seeds of cereal and bean crops, the single most important food source for a growing world population, are produced by sexual reproduction that is strictly dependent upon the successful production and union of the haploid pollen and egg. Reduced pollen fertility significantly affects seed yield of crops. On the other hand, hybrid breeding of agriculturally important crops such as hybrid corn and rice often requires the maintenance of a stable male sterile line. Several genes affecting pollen surface structure and viability have been identified, but our knowledge about the mechanisms underlying pollen sterility is incomplete, particularly at the genetic and biochemical levels. The proposed project examines new genes affecting pollen formation in model plant Arabidopsis. The anticipated results will provide information that could lead to increased
utilization of hybrid crops for food production.