Maize Mitochondrial Genes and Cytoplasmic Male Sterility

  • V. K. Eckenrode
  • C. S. LevingsIII
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 41)


Plants are termed “male-steriles” when they do not produce viable pollen. The specific mechanisms causing male sterility in plants vary from species to species and can be affected by the environment, nuclear genes, and cytoplasmically inherited genes. When the male-sterile trait is inherited in a non-Mendelian fashion, it is designated cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). Cytoplasmic male sterility occurs in many higher plants. Laser and Lersten (65) have cataloged at least 140 plant species in which the trait is observed. Since the CMS trait normally does not affect female fertility, male-sterile plants are able to set seed when provided viable pollen. This seed is the product of cross-pollination. In hybrid seed production, the male parent often carries a nuclear restorer gene(s) that suppresses the CMS trait and restores fertility to the hybrid.


Mitochondrial Genome Male Sterility Mitochondrial Gene Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit Plant Mitochondrial Genome 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. K. Eckenrode
    • 1
  • C. S. LevingsIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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