Auxins reverse plant male sterility caused by high temperatures

Tadashi Sakata, Takeshi Oshino, Shinya Miura, Mari Tomabechi, Yuta Tsunaga, Nahoko Higashitani, Yutaka Miyazawa, Hideyuki Takahashi, Masao Watanabe, Atsushi Higashitani

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262 Citations (Scopus)


With global warming, plant high temperature injury is becoming an increasingly serious problem. In wheat, barley, and various other commercially important crops, the early phase of anther development is especially susceptible to high temperatures. Activation of auxin biosynthesis with increased temperatures has been reported in certain plant tissues. In contrast, we here found that under high temperature conditions, endogenous auxin levels specifically decreased in the developing anthers of barley and Arabidopsis. In addition, expression of the YUCCA auxin biosynthesis genes was repressed by increasing temperatures. Application of auxin completely reversed male sterility in both plant species. These findings suggest that tissue-specific auxin reduction is the primary cause of high temperature injury, which leads to the abortion of pollen development. Thus, the application of auxin may help sustain steady yields of crops despite future climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8569-8574
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May 11


  • Anther
  • Arabidopsis
  • Barley
  • Heat stress
  • Phytohormone


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