Salicylic acid reverses pollen abortion of rice caused by heat stress

BMC Plant Biology
Baohua FengFu Guanfu


Extremely high temperatures are becoming an increasingly severe threat to crop yields. It is well documented that salicylic acid (SA) can enhance the stress tolerance of plants; however, its effect on the reproductive organs of rice plants has not been described before. To investigate the mechanism underlying the SA-mediated alleviation of the heat stress damage to rice pollen viability, a susceptible cultivar (Changyou1) was treated with SA at the pollen mother cell (PMC) meiosis stage and then subjected to heat stress of 40 °C for 10 d until 1d before flowering. Under control conditions, no significant difference was found in pollen viability and seed-setting rate in SA treatments. However, under heat stress conditions, SA decreased the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in anthers to prevent tapetum programmed cell death (PCD) and degradation. The genes related to tapetum development, such as EAT1 (Eternal Tapetum 1), MIL2 (Microsporeless 2), and DTM1 (Defective Tapetum and Meiocytese 1), were found to be involved in this process. When rice plants were exogenously sprayed with SA or paclobutrazol (PAC, a SA inhibitor) + H2O2 under heat stress, a significantly higher pollen viability was found compared to plants sp...Continue Reading


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