Two rice receptor-like kinases maintain male fertility under changing temperatures

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Nov 14;114(46):12327-12332. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705189114. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


Plants employ dynamic molecular networks to control development in response to environmental changes, yet the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here we report the identification of two rice leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases, Thermo-Sensitive Genic Male Sterile 10 (TMS10) and its close homolog TMS10-Like (TMS10L), which redundantly function in the maintenance of the tapetal cell layer and microspore/pollen viability under normal temperature conditions with TMS10 playing an essential role in higher temperatures (namely, 28 °C). tms10 displays male sterility under high temperatures but male fertility under low temperatures, and the tms10 tms10l double mutant shows complete male sterility under both high and low temperatures. Biochemical and genetic assays indicate that the kinase activity conferred by the intracellular domain of TMS10 is essential for tapetal degeneration and male fertility under high temperatures. Furthermore, indica or japonica rice varieties that contain mutations in TMS10, created by genetic crosses or genome editing, also exhibit thermo-sensitive genic male sterility. These findings demonstrate that TMS10 and TMS10L act as a key switch in postmeiotic tapetal development and pollen development by buffering environmental temperature changes, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms by which plants develop phenotypic plasticity via genotype-environment temperature interaction. TMS10 may be used as a genetic resource for the development of hybrid seed production systems in crops.

Keywords: hybrid breeding; male fertility; receptor-like kinases; rice; temperature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / classification
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Infertility / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Pollen
  • Pollination
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Seeds / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Temperature


  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Kinases