ABSTRACT: We have previously isolated a CCAAT-binding factor B subunit gene ( BnCBF-B) from Brassica napus that is widely expressed in different plant tissues and whose role is still unknown. To investigate the importance of this transcription factor subunit in plant reproductive tissues, we targeted antisense BnCBF-B transcripts to the tapetum of transgenic B. napus plants. Of the 24 independent transformants, 13 yielded reduced quantities of viable pollen, of which five were unable to produce the elongated siliques indicative of normal seed set. The decrease in pollen viability probably resulted from the precocious degeneration of the tapetal cell layer observed in these plants. Surprisingly, the male-sterile phenotype was also accompanied by a decrease in female fertility, which could be due to the expression of the antisense BnCBF-B transcripts in the female reproductive structures of the transgenic plants. These results suggest that the BnCBF-B gene plays a critical non-redundant role in plant reproductive tissues.
Plant Cell Reports 05/2003; 21(8):804-8. · 2.27 Impact Factor