Reproductive cells and peripheral parietal cells collaboratively participate in meiotic fate acquisition in rice anthers

Plant J. 2021 Nov;108(3):661-671. doi: 10.1111/tpj.15461. Epub 2021 Aug 30.


In flowering plants, the transition from mitosis to meiosis is the precondition for gametogenesis, which is the most crucial event during sexual reproduction. Here, we report an intriguing mechanism whereby germ cells and surrounding somatic cells cooperatively involve in the meiotic switch during anther development in rice (Oryza sativa). In double mutants with loss function of both leptotene chromosome establishment- and somatic cell layer differentiation-associated genes, chromosome morphology in the reproductive cells remains the same as that in somatic cells, and sporogenous cells fail to differentiate into pollen mother cells. OsSPOROCYTELESS and MICROSPORELESS1, two pivotal genes involved in meiosis entry, are prominently downregulated in anthers of plants with mutations in both MULTIPLE SPOROCYTE1 and LEPTOTENE 1. In addition, the transcription of redox-related genes is also affected. Therefore, germ cells and the surrounding somatic cells collaboratively participate in meiosis initiation in rice.

Keywords: germ cells; meiosis initiation; rice; somatic cells; sporogenous cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics*
  • Flowers / cytology*
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Meiosis
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / cytology*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Plant Cells
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified


  • Plant Proteins