Hybrid sterility in plant: stories from rice
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Hybrid sterility in plant: stories from rice

Ouyang Yidan, Liu Yaoguang, Zhang Qifa

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Centre of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.


Hybrid sterility is the most common form of postzygotic reproductive isolation in plants. The best-known example is perhaps the hybrid sterility between indica and japonica subspecies of Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.). Major progress has been reported recently in rice in identifying and cloning hybrid sterility genes at two loci regulating female and male fertility, respectively. Genetic analyses and molecular characterization of these genes, together with the results from other model organisms especially Drosophila, have advanced the understanding of the processes underlying reproductive isolation and speciation. These findings also have significant implications for crop genetic improvement, by providing the feasibility and strategies for overcoming intersubspecific hybrid sterility thus allowing the development of intersubspecific hybrids.