Successful pre-meiotic anther development is required for male fertility in Zea mays L
- Anthers, the male reproductive organ of angiosperms, are critical for the fertility and production of pollen. In this thesis I show that collection of anthers of specific developmental stages is possible for a maize tassel of a known size, making the other studies in later chapters possible. The studies detailed in the following chapters focus on the pre-meiotic events required to convert a group of meristematic cells into a complex organ with both meiotically-competent and somatic cell types. Establishment of the somatic niche happens through a series of periclinal patterning divisions, establishing a layered organ of somatic cell types with a column of germinal cells at the center of this somatic niche. Each of the somatic cell types of the anther has a distinct cell fate and morphological appearance. Errors in the periclinal divisions responsible for the patterning of these layers are present in nearly half of identified pre-meiotic male sterile mutants. Using a new approach to mutant phenotype classification, I quantified phenotypes from confocal images and show that not only do somatic defects vary in the number of extra periclinal divisions produced, but also that even minor defects in somatic identity are sufficient to cause male sterility. Furthermore, when looking deeper into these defects using transcriptome and proteome analyses, I detected large and dynamic changes both across anther development as cell types mature and between individual cell types collected using laser capture microdissection. These changes at the transcript level were not tightly correlated with protein changes at the same developmental stage, perhaps hinting at levels of post-transcriptional regulation in the anther that remain unexplored. Clear differences in transcriptomes were observed when male-sterile mutants were compared with their fertile siblings, even in cases where morphological defects were comparatively minor, highlighting, again, that even relatively minor defects in somatic cell specification can result in complete male sterility in maize anthers.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Egger, Rachel L
|Stanford University, Department of Biology.
|Mudgett, Mary Beth, 1967-
|Mudgett, Mary Beth, 1967-
|Statement of responsibility
|Rachel L. Egger.
|Submitted to the Department of Biology.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
- © 2016 by Rachel Louise Egger
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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