Author:Yonghui Zhu , Ziwen Shi, Shizhao Li, Heyang Liu, Fuxia Liu, Qunkai Niu, Chuan Li, Jing Wang, Tingzhao Rong, Hongyang Yi, Moju Cao.
A novel male-sterile maize mutant male sterility 39 (ms39) was obtained from offspring of the commercial hybrid Chuandan No. 9 that had been carried into outer space. A previous study demonstrated that ms39 is controlled by a single recessive nuclear gene, located on the long arm of chromosome 3. Here, we used 1073 mutant individuals derived from the (ms39xMo17) F-2 population and sequentially developed new primers to identify markers supporting the finemapping of ms39. A 365-kb region on chromosome 3 flanked by markers L8 and M30 at a genetic distance of 0.18 and 0.47cM, respectively, was identified. According to the reference sequence of ZmB73_Ref-Gen_v4, 12 candidate genes were identified within the 365-kb mapping region. Based on cloning and sequence BLAST analysis of the 12 candidate genes, a four-base-pair deletion was found within the exon of Zm00001d043909, which encoded callose synthase12. This four-base-pair deletion resulted in a frameshift mutation in ms39, leading to the earlier termination of the coding protein, and ultimately caused abnormal performance of the callose synthase. Additionally, cytological observation was conducted on a sister cross population (ms39/ms39xms39/Ms39). These observations showed that the tapetum cells of the ms39 mutant appeared abnormal from the dyad stage, and aborted microspores were observed during pollen development. These results lay the foundation for the cloning of ms39 and exploration of the molecular mechanism underlying aborted pollen development in ms39 maize.