Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals the mechanism of exogenous substances inhibiting fertility alteration induced by low temperature in TGMS rice line

  • Xiaolin Liu
  • Lingkai Guo
  • Jiaping Wei
  • Jiwai He
  • Haiqing Zhang
  • Aimin Liu
  • Langtao Xiao
  • Hao MaEmail author
Original paper


During two-line hybrid rice seed production, thermo-sensitive genic male sterile (TGMS) rice lines are susceptible to low temperature, leading to fertility alteration (from sterile to fertile) and production of false hybrids (self-pollination). To explore appropriate solutions to reduce the chance of seed production failure, two exogenous substances, d-Arg and ethephon, were applied to restrain the fertility alteration induced by low temperature (22.0 °C), respectively. The fertile pollen grains and bagged seed setting rate of TGMS rice line Jing 4155S (with the critical fertility/sterility alteration temperature of 23.5 °C) under low temperature could be reduced to 0% by spraying exogenous substances. Transcriptome analysis of young panicles of TGMS rice line Jing 4155S demonstrated that the expressions of multiple transcription factors (MYB, FAR1, and ERF, etc.) changed, and hence affecting various downstream related genes and metabolic processes, including hormonal signal transduction, plant pathogen interactions, circadian rhythm pathway, carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall synthesis, and lipid metabolism, etc. The enhanced ethylene biosynthesis and the prevented redox equilibrium from unbalance to balance in young panicles were one of the major reasons that fertility alteration was inhibited by exogenous substances. Our results made a contribution to the solution for inhibiting fertility alteration induced by low temperature in two-line TGMS rice lines during hybrid seed production.


TGMS rice Fertility alteration d-Arg Ethephon Transcriptome 



1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase


1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase


Arginine decarboxylase


Ascorbate peroxidase


Auxin response factor






Chemical hybridization agents


Cytoplasmic male sterile


Differentially expression gene


Dehydroascorbate reductase


Environment sensitive genic male-sterility


Ethylene response elements


Fragments per kilobase of transcript per million mapped reads


Gene ontology


Glutathione reductase


Glutathione peroxidase




Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes


Long-time low temperature inducement




Monodehydroascorbate reductase


Monosulfuron ester sodium


Methylglyoxal-bis (guanylhydrazone)








Photo-sensitive genic male sterile


Physiology male sterility






Quantitative real-time PCR


Reactive oxygen species


S-adenosyl methionine


Superoxide dismutase


Short-time low temperature inducement


Transcription factor


Thermo-sensitive genic male sterile





The authors gratefully acknowledge the partial financial support from the project supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2018YFD0100905), the Open Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Hybrid Rice (Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center), and the Cyrus Tang Innovation Center for Seed Industry for this research.

Author contributions

This study was performed in collaboration by all authors. X.L. and L.G. carried out most of the experiments and data analysis; J.W. carried out part of data analysis; J.H., H.Z. and A.L. carried out part of experimental treatment; L.X. carried out part of physiological experiment; H.M. designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary material

10725_2019_560_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (628 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 628 kb) Fig. S1. ROS levels in spikelet.
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Supplementary material 2 (JPEG 865 kb) Fig. S2. Pearson correlation between samples.
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Supplementary material 3 (JPEG 1425 kb) Fig. S3. Top 10 GO analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs). (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F) were the most enriched GO (biological process, cellular component, molecular function) between the water-treated group and the D-Arg-treated group in ST-inducement (C_S vs. D_S) and in LT-inducement (C_L vs. D_L), between the water-treated group and the ethephon-treated group in ST-inducement (C_S vs. Eth_S) and LT-inducement (C_L vs. Eth_L), and between the D-Arg-treated group and the ethephon-treated group in ST-inducement (D_S vs. Eth_S) and in LT-inducement (D_L vs. Eth_L), respectively.
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Supplementary material 4 (JPEG 1328 kb) Fig. S4. Top 20 KEGG pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs). (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F) were the most enriched Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway between the water-treated group and the D-Arg-treated group in ST-inducement (C_S vs. D_S) and in LT-inducement (C_L vs. D_L), between the water-treated group and the ethephon-treated group in ST-inducement (C_S vs. Eth_S) and LT-inducement (C_L vs. Eth_L), and between the D-Arg-treated group and the ethephon-treated group in ST-inducement (D_S vs. Eth_S) and in LT-inducement (D_L vs. Eth_L), respectively.
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Supplementary material 14 (XLSX 9 kb) The raw sequence data reported in this paper have been deposited in the Genome Sequence Archive (Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics 2017) in BIG Data Center (Nucleic Acids Res 2019), Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG), Chinese Academy of Sciences, under accession numbers CRA001549, Shared URL:


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolin Liu
    • 1
  • Lingkai Guo
    • 1
  • Jiaping Wei
    • 1
  • Jiwai He
    • 2
    • 3
  • Haiqing Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Aimin Liu
    • 3
    • 4
  • Langtao Xiao
    • 4
  • Hao Ma
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm EnhancementNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of AgronomyHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Hybrid RiceHunan Hybrid Rice Research CenterChangshaChina
  4. 4.Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops in ChinaHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina

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