In a previous study of the function of a pollen-expressed receptor kinase of Petunia inflata, PRK1, it was found that transgenic plants carrying an antisense-PRK1 gene were unable to transmit the transgene through either the male or, unexpectedly, the female. In this report, the nature of this female phenotype was studied using one of the transgenic plants, ASRK-13. Electron and light microscopic examination of the embryo sac and seed development of ASRK-13 and a wild-type plant revealed that embryo sac development of approximately half of the ovules of ASRK-13 was abnormal. The development of the affected embryo sacs was arrested at the late stages of megagametogenesis. The majority of the affected embryo sacs completed three rounds of mitosis normally, but failed to progress through the maturation stages when cell expansion, nuclear migration, and differentiation take place. The remaining small number of abnormal embryo sacs were arrested at either the four- or eight-nucleate stages. The ovules containing the defective embryo sacs apparently failed to be fertilized, resulting in degeneration of half of the seeds produced by ASRK-13. RNA gel blot analysis suggests that the PRK1 gene is expressed in the ovary, albeit at a much lower level than in the anther. The possibility that the antisense PRK1 gene is responsible for the abnormal embryo sac development is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology