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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Comparative transcript profiling of the fertile and sterile flower buds of pol CMS in B. napus

Hong An, Zonghui Yang, Bin Yi*, Jing Wen, Jinxiong Shen, Jinxing Tu, Chaozhi Ma and Tingdong Fu

Author Affiliations

National Key Lab of Crop Geneticc Improvement, National Center of Crop Molecular Breeding Technology, National Center of Oil Crop Improvement (Wuhan), College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P. R. China

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:258  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-258

Published: 3 April 2014



The Polima (pol) system of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and its fertility restoration gene Rfp have been used in hybrid breeding in Brassica napus, which has greatly improved the yield of rapeseed. However, the mechanism of the male sterility transition in pol CMS remains to be determined.


To investigate the transcriptome during the male sterility transition in pol CMS, a near-isogenic line (NIL) of pol CMS was constructed. The phenotypic features and sterility stage were confirmed by anatomical analysis. Subsequently, we compared the genomic expression profiles of fertile and sterile young flower buds by RNA-Seq. A total of 105,481,136 sequences were successfully obtained. These reads were assembled into 112,770 unigenes, which composed the transcriptome of the bud. Among these unigenes, 72,408 (64.21%) were annotated using public protein databases and classified into functional clusters. In addition, we investigated the changes in expression of the fertile and sterile buds; the RNA-seq data showed 1,148 unigenes had significantly different expression and they were mainly distributed in metabolic and protein synthesis pathways. Additionally, some unigenes controlling anther development were dramatically down-regulated in sterile buds.


These results suggested that an energy deficiency caused by orf224/atp6 may inhibit a series of genes that regulate pollen development through nuclear-mitochondrial interaction. This results in the sterility of pol CMS by leading to the failure of sporogenous cell differentiation. This study may provide assistance for detailed molecular analysis and a better understanding of pol CMS in B. napus.

Brassica napus; pol CMS; Anther; Transcriptome