Biology

RMS2 Encoding a GDSL Lipase Mediates Lipid Homeostasis in Anthers to Determine Rice Male Fertility


Plant male gametogenesis is a coordinated effort involving both reproductive tissues and sporophytic tissues, in which lipid metabolism plays an essential role. Although GDSL esterases/lipases have been well known as key enzymes for many plant developmental processes and stress responses, their functions in reproductive development remain unclear. Here, we report the identification of a rice male sterile2 (rms2) mutant in rice (Oryza sativa), which is completely male sterile due to the defects in tapetum degradation, cuticle formation in sporophytic tissues, and impaired exine and central vacuole development in pollen grains. RMS2 was map-based cloned as an endoplasmic reticulum-localized GDSL lipase gene, which is predominantly transcribed during early anther development. In rms2, a three-nucleotide deletion and one base substitution (TTGT to A) occurred within the GDSL domain, which reduced the lipid hydrolase activity of the resulting protein and led to significant changes in the content of 16 lipid components and numerous other metabolites, as revealed by a comparative metabolic analysis. Furthermore, RMS2 is directly targeted by the male fertility regulators Undeveloped Tapetum1 and Persistent Tapetal Cell1 both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that RMS2 may serve as a key node in the rice male fertility regulatory network. These findings shed light on the function of GDSLs in reproductive development and provide a promising gene resource for hybrid rice breeding.

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