OsC6, encoding a lipid transfer protein, is required for postmeiotic anther development in rice

Plant Physiol. 2010 Sep;154(1):149-62. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.158865. Epub 2010 Jul 7.


Synthesis of lipidic components in anthers, including of the pollen exine, is essential for plant male reproductive development. Plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are small, abundant lipid-binding proteins that have the ability to exchange lipids between membranes in vitro. However, their biological role in male reproductive development remains less understood. Here, we report the crucial role of OsC6 in regulating postmeiotic anther development in rice (Oryza sativa). Found in monocots, OsC6 belongs to a distinct clade from previously identified LTP1 and LTP2 family members found in both dicots and monocots. OsC6 expression is mainly detectable in tapetal cells and weakly in microspores from stage 9 to stage 11 of anther development. Immunological assays indicated that OsC6 is widely distributed in anther tissues such as the tapetal cytoplasm, the extracellular space between the tapetum and middle layer, and the anther locule and anther cuticle. Biochemical assays indicated that recombinant OsC6 has lipid binding activity. Moreover, plants in which OsC6 was silenced had defective development of orbicules (i.e. Ubisch bodies) and pollen exine and had reduced pollen fertility. Furthermore, additional evidence is provided that the expression of OsC6 is positively regulated by a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Tapetum Degeneration Retardation (TDR). Extra granule-like structures were observed on the inner surface of the tdr tapetal layer when the expression of OsC6 was driven by the TDR promoter compared with the tdr mutant. These data suggest that OsC6 plays a crucial role in the development of lipidic orbicules and pollen exine during anther development in rice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, Plant / chemistry
  • Antigens, Plant / genetics
  • Antigens, Plant / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Flowers / cytology*
  • Flowers / growth & development*
  • Flowers / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Silencing
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Meiosis*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oryza / cytology*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / growth & development*
  • Oryza / ultrastructure
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pollen / cytology
  • Pollen / ultrastructure
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA Interference
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Antigens, Plant
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Osc6 protein, Oryza sativa
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • lipid transfer proteins, plant

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AK064672