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Male Sterility is linked to the Flavonoid Biosynthesis Pathways in Prunus mira



Shanshan Zhang1,2+, Gesang Pingcuo1,2+, Hong Ying1,2, Fan Zhao1,2, Yongning Cui1,2, Xiuli Zeng1,2*



1The ministry of agriculture of Qinghai-Tibet plateau fruit trees scientific observation test station, Lhasa Tibet, 850032, China; 2Institute of Vegetables, Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Sciences, Lhasa, Tibet, 850002, China; +Joint first authors:



Xiuli Zeng Email: zeng_xiuli2004@aliyun.com; Shanshan Zhang - E-mail: zhangshanshan@taaas.org; *Corresponding author


Article Type

Research Article



Received January 1, 2020; Revised April 1, 2020; Accepted April 12, 2020; Published May 31, 2020



The loss of the male function plays an important role in plant adaptation and evolution and has contributed to the development of high yielding crop hybrids. We used the widely targeted metabolomics profiling technology to survey the metabolites and biological pathways
associated with male sterility in Prunus mira by comparing flowers from fertile and sterile trees. Male sterile flowers displayed abnormal stamen, uncolored anthers, and distorted and shrunken pollen grains with an apparent lack of turgidity. We report 566 metabolites in six
flower samples and 140 differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) between both flower types. Most of the DAMs belong to the phenyl propanoid biosynthesis pathway, particularly flavonoid, flavone and flavonol biosynthesis pathways, implying that alterations in these key
pathways link to male sterility in P. mira. Connections between low levels of flavonoid metabolites, weak expression levels of several structural genes from the phenyl propanoid biosynthesis pathway and hyper accumulation of reactive oxygen species were highlighted for understanding the underlying mechanism leading to the abnormal or aborted pollen grains observed in the sterile flowers. Reported data on the molecular mechanism of male sterility in Prunus mira will facilitate further in-depth investigations on this important agronomic and ecological trait.



Plant floral fertility; metabolome; domestication; gene expression profiling



Zhang et al. Bioinformation 16(5): 363-374 (2020)


Edited by

P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.