Molecular basis of cytoplasmic male sterility and fertility restoration in rice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) is a maternally inherited trait that causes dysfunctions in pollen and anther development. CMS is caused by the interaction between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. A product of a CMS-causing gene encoded by the mitochondrial genome affects mitochondrial function and the regulation of nuclear genes, leading to male sterility. In contrast, the RESTORER OF FERTILITY gene (Rf gene) in the nuclear genome suppresses the expression of the CMS-causing gene and restores male fertility. An alloplasmic CMS line is often bred as a result of nuclear substitution, which causes the removal of functional Rf genes and allows the expression of a CMS-causing gene in mitochondria. The CMS/Rf system is an excellent model for understanding the genetic interactions and cooperative functions of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in plants, and is also an agronomically important trait for hybrid seed production. In this review article, pollen and anther phenotypes of CMS, CMS-associated mitochondrial genes, Rf genes, and the mechanism that causes pollen abortion and its agronomical application for rice are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cytoplasmic male sterility
  • Fertility restoration
  • Mitochondria
  • Rf gene
  • Rice


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