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Male Sterility in Flowering Plants: Are Plant Growth Substances Involved?

Vipen K. Sawhney and Amit Shukla
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 81, No. 12 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1640-1647
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445343
Page Count: 8
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Male Sterility in Flowering Plants: Are Plant Growth Substances Involved?
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Abstract

Male sterility in flowering plants is of tremendous importance not only in molecular and developmental studies of stamen and pollen grains and evolutionary studies on the origin of dioecy, but also in its commercial application in hybrid seed production. This paper reviews the literature on the possible involvement of plant growth substances (PGSs) in male sterility, and in normal stamen and pollen development. Different experimental approaches on a number of male sterile systems and normal plants have shown that nearly all PGSs, i.e., gibberellins, cytokinins, auxin, abscisic acid, and ethylene, directly or indirectly influence the expression of male sterility. Analyses of endogenous PGSs have revealed that in male sterile plants the level and/or metabolism of more than one PGS is affected. These studies support the suggestion that it is the relative ratio of various PGSs, rather than any one substance, that is critical for normal stamen and pollen development. It is also proposed that gene-regulated male sterility is likely mediated through an altered balance of endogenous PGSs in developing flowers and stamens.

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