Pollen fertility restoration by nuclear gene Fr in CMS bean: Nuclear- directed alteration of a mitochondrial population

S. He, A. Lyznik, S. Mackenzie

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Two nuclear genes, Fr and Fr2, have been identified that restore pollen fertility to cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) by apparently distinct mechanisms. Whereas Fr2 appears to suppress the expression of a male sterility associated mitochondrial sequence (designated pvs). Fr restores pollen fertility by causing the elimination of this unusual mitochondrial DNA segment. To further investigate the mechanism of Fr action, Fr and Fr2 were cointroduced into the nucleus of a bean line containing the sterility inducing cytoplasm. When the effect of pvs was suppressed by Fr2, the presence of Fr no longer directed the elimination of the mitochondrial pvs sequence. This result suggests that the Fr function is dependent on proper expression on the pvs sequence. To evaluate the temporal and spatial patterns of Fr action, we undertook a polymerase chain reaction-based approach to trace the fate of the pvs sequence in different tissues of F2 and F3 fertile-restored plants derived from a genetic cross between a cytoplasmic male sterile line of common bean, CMS-Sprite (fr/fr), and fertility restorer line R351 (FrFr). We demonstrate that the Fr-directed disappearance of pvs sequence occurs during flower development. Elimination of the pvs sequence from developing megaspores results in permanent fertility restoration in the following generations. Genetic analysis demonstrated that permanent fertility restoration, that is, the complete elimination of pvs from reproductive tissues requires two doses of the Fr allele or the absence of fr in F2 individuals. The effect of Fr was reversible until full fertility was achieved. On the basis of these results, we propose a model for the mechanism of pvs elimination by the Fr gene and discuss the dynamics of pvs-containing mitochondrial transmission in the presence of the Fr gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-962
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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