The genetic basis of cytoplasmic male sterility and fertility restoration in wheat

  • Ian Small (Creator)
  • Joanna Melonek (Creator)
  • Jorge Duarte (Creator)
  • Jerome Martin (Creator)
  • Alain Murigneux (Creator)
  • Pierrick Varenne (Creator)
  • Jordi Comadran (Creator)
  • Sebastien Specel (Creator)
  • Sylvain Levadoux (Creator)
  • Kalia Bernath-Levin (Creator)
  • Laurent Beuf (Creator)
  • François Torney (Creator)
  • Jean-Philippe Pichon (Creator)
  • Pascual Perez (Creator)



Hybrid wheat varieties give higher yields than conventional lines but are difficult to produce due to a lack of effective control of male fertility in breeding lines. One promising system involves the Rf1 and Rf3 genes that restore fertility of wheat plants carrying Triticum timopheevii-type cytoplasmic male sterility (T-CMS). By genetic mapping and comparative sequence analyses we identified Rf1 and Rf3 candidates that could restore normal pollen production in transgenic wheat plants carrying T-CMS. We show that Rf1 and Rf3 bind to the mitochondrial orf279 transcript and induce cleavage, preventing expression of the CMS trait. The identification of restorer genes in wheat is an important step towards the development of hybrid wheat varieties based on a CMS-Rf system. The characterisation of their mode of action brings new insights into the molecular basis of CMS and fertility restoration in plants. This dataset includes transcript count and coverage data from 2 RNA-seq experiments looking at gene expression in various male-sterile or male-fertile wheat lines examined in the course of this research.
Date made available8 Jan 2021

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