High-temperature stress causes abortive male reproductive development in many plant species. Here, we report a putative mechanism of high-temperature injury during anther early development in barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L). Under high-temperature conditions (30°C day/25°C night), cell-proliferation arrest, increased vacuolization, over-development of chloroplasts, and certain abnormalities of the mitochondria, nuclear membrane, and rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) were observed in developing anther cells, but not in developing ovule cells. Moreover, premature degradation of tapetum cells and premature progression to meiotic prophase in pollen mother cells (PMCs) were also observed. To monitor transcriptional alterations during high-temperature injury, we performed DNA microarray analysis using the 22K Barley1 GeneChip. Expression profiles were captured at four time points during the early development of panicles, and during vegetative growth of seedlings as a control, with or without high-temperature treatment. Abiotic or biotic stress related genes were equally or more dominantly up-regulated in the seedlings exposed to high temperatures compared with the panicles. In contrast, certain genes associated with histones, DNA replication initiation, mitochondria, and ribosomes were specifically repressed in the exposed panicles. In situ hybridization studies indicated that repression locally occurred on the developing anther cells exposed to high temperatures. Microarray analysis also indicated that a series of genes, including a meiosis-specific gene Asy1 and anther-specific lipid transfer protein genes, was prematurely up-regulated at an earlier stage under high-temperature conditions. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR analyses well confirmed the expression differences of certain key genes predicted by the DNA microarrays. These results suggest that high-temperature causes premature progression of anther early development program and fate, such as progression to meiosis of PMCs, cell-proliferation arrest and degradation in anther wall cells, accompanied by comprehensive alterations in transcription.
- High temperature
- Male sterility