Cytogenetic Analysis of Thermosensitive Genic Male Sterility (TGMS) Recovered from a Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.×P. violaceum (Lam.) L. Rich Cross
One male-sterile plant was recovered from a cross between pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and its wild progenitor P. violaceum. The behavior of male sterility was temperature dependent, as the development of pollen mother cells to pollen grains was found to be dependent on temperature. The plant showed sterility at lower temperatures while it was fertile at higher temperatures during seasonal variations. This thermosensitive male sterility trait was found to be genetically controlled based on
... controlled based on the segregation data of backcross generation. Segregation was observed for ca. 50% of the population expressing this trait. These TGMS plants exhibited transition from fertility to sterility when mean daily temperature reduced to ca. 20°C or below, and fertility was restored above this temperature. The period of 4 to 5 d prior to anthesis was found to be most sensitive to temperature variations. Chromosomal studies on the parent plant as well as segregants showed 2nϭ14 with regular meiosis during non-sensitive phase (period exhibiting male-fertility) ruling out aneuploidy and/or gross chromosomal structural aberrations as a cause of male sterility. Fertility characters were also studied for TGMS and non-TGMS plants during sensitive and non-sensitive phases. Pollen grains shed from the TGMS plants were much more vulnerable than from normal plants during sensitive phase indicating poor development of the membrane and walls of the pollen grains during sterility inducing conditions. Transition characteristics from male sterility to male fertility during sensitive and non-sensitive phases for TGMS and non-TGMS plants are discussed.