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Characterization of germline development and identification of genes associated with germline specification in pineapple
Horticulture Research  (IF6.793),  Pub Date : 2021-11-01, DOI: 10.1038/s41438-021-00669-x
Lihua Zhao, Liping Liu, Yanhui Liu, Xianying Dou, Hanyang Cai, Mohammad Aslam, Zhimin Hou, Xingyue Jin, Yi Li, Lulu Wang, Heming Zhao, Xiaomei Wang, Adrien Sicard, Yuan Qin

Understanding germline specification in plants could be advantageous for agricultural applications. In recent decades, substantial efforts have been made to understand germline specification in several plant species, including Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. However, our knowledge of germline specification in many agronomically important plant species remains obscure. Here, we characterized the female germline specification and subsequent female gametophyte development in pineapple using callose staining, cytological, and whole-mount immunolocalization analyses. We also determined the male germline specification and gametophyte developmental timeline and observed male meiotic behavior using chromosome spreading assays. Furthermore, we identified 229 genes that are preferentially expressed at the megaspore mother cell (MMC) stage during ovule development and 478 genes that are preferentially expressed at the pollen mother cell (PMC) stage of anther development using comparative transcriptomic analysis. The biological functions, associated regulatory pathways and expression patterns of these genes were also analyzed. Our study provides a convenient cytological reference for exploring pineapple germline development and a molecular basis for the future functional analysis of germline specification in related plant species.