TitleLoss of function of Oryza sativa Argonaute 18 induces male sterility and reduction in phased small RNAs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDas S, Swetha C, Pachamuthu K, Nair A, Shivaprasad PV
JournalPlant Reprod
Date Published2020 Mar

KEY MESSAGE: In this manuscript, we show that Oryza sativa indica Argonaute protein AGO18 is required for male gametophyte development likely to through a small RNA-mediated mechanism. Monocots have evolved unique gene silencing pathways due to the presence of unique members of Dicer-like and Argonaute (AGO) family members. Among the monocot AGO homologs, AGO18 occupies a unique position. Previous reports have implicated this protein in viral resistance as well as in gametogenesis, likely through its competition with AGO1 clade members for micro(mi)RNAs and other small (s)RNAs. Although expression of rice AGO18 in specific stages of male gametogenesis has been documented, its major functions in plant development remain poorly understood. Here, we show that Oryza sativa indica AGO18 is involved in male gametophyte development. Knockdown (KD) of AGO18 in transgenic rice lines resulted in stunted plants that are male sterile, whereas their carpels were functional. Transcriptome analysis revealed downregulation of several pollen development-associated genes in KD lines. sRNA sequencing in vegetative and reproductive tissues of KD lines indicated reduction of miRNAs and phased secondary sRNAs implicated in male gametophyte development. Our results indicate a distinct role for rice AGO18 in male fertility.

Alternate JournalPlant Reprod
PubMed ID32157461
Grant ListRamanujan Fellowship / / DST-SERB /
BT/PR12394/AGIII/103/891/2014 / / Department of Biotechnology , Ministry of Science and Technology /
BT/IN/Swiss/47/JGK/2018-19 / / Department of Biotechnology , Ministry of Science and Technology /
BT/PR25767/GET/119/151/2017 / / Department of Biotechnology , Ministry of Science and Technology /