Submitted to: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2003
Publication Date: February 20, 2004
Citation: Oliver, M.J. 2004. Male sterility and hybrid production systems. In: Christou, P., Klee, H., editors. Handbook of Plant Biotechnology. New Jersey:John Wiley and Sons. p. 1-6. Interpretive Summary: The manuscript outlines the current methods used to generate male sterile plants for use in hybrid production systems. The manuscript discusses naturally occurring male sterile mutants both those found in nuclear genes and those associated with mitochondrial genomes (cytoplasmic male sterility). However, the main focus is on the use of genetic engineering to achieve a universally acceptable system for male sterile production. The manuscript discusses the use of genes involved in pollen development, genes that make pollen specific toxins to prevent their development, chemically inducible systems and systems that focus on producing universal maintainer lines (lines that can maintain male sterile populations). The manuscript provides an up to date resource for those interested in the state of the current methods for hybrid production in agriculture.
Technical Abstract: The ability to exploit the long known phenomenon of hybrid vigor or heterosis, the superior performance of the F1 hybrid compared to either parent line, has greatly impacted the goal of production agriculture to meet world food demands. Hybrid production systems rely on an efficient and effective mechanism for inducing male sterility in one of the parental lines in order to ensure purity of the resultant hybrid seed. Natural male sterility systems are available but are limited in their availability for all crops and their effectiveness in those for which they have been developed. This manuscript discusses the means by which modern techniques of genetic engineering have broadened our ability to develop male sterile lines and improve hybrid production strategies. The manuscript discusses the development of dominant male sterility systems using genetic ablation and developmental disruption strategies, conditional male sterility strategies and the genetic engineering of maintainer lines. The generation of novel and improved systems for hybrid production in the ongoing search for crop improvement has been, and continues to be, one of the major targets for transgenic manipulations within the agricultural biotechnological community.