Male Sterility in Plants

What is Male Sterility? – Definition?

Male sterility refers to either absence of pollen grain or if present it is non-functional.

Features of Male Sterility

  • Prevents self pollination, permits cross pollination.
  • Leads to heterozygosity
  • Female gametes function normally
  • Assayed through staining techniques
  • In nature, occur due to spontaneous mutations
  • Can be induced artificially

Types of Male Sterility

Male sterility can be of following types

Limitations of Male Sterility system from the Plant breeding point of view

  • In some crops, sterile cytoplasm has adverse effect on yield.
  • Unsatisfactory restoration of fertility
  • Break down of male sterility because of some reasons like, certain environmental conditions which leads to some pollen production by the male sterile lines and cytoplasm contribution (though small) by the sperm in some cases,
  • Difficult to identify line with GMS
  • Unsatisfactory or poor pollination
  • Modifiers or modifying genes may affect cytoplasmic male sterility