Expression of many proteinases has been
documented during anther development. Although their
roles are not completely understood, their inhibition
could possibly result in impairment of anther development
leading to male sterility. We proposed that such an
impairment of anther development can be engineered in
plants resulting in male sterile plants that can be used for
hybrid seed production. Here, we report that antherspecific
expression of Aprotinin gene (serine proteinase
inhibitor) in tobacco has resulted in male sterility.
Southern analysis and zymogram analysis confirmed the
integration and expression of Aprotinin gene in the anthers
of the transgenic plants. Transverse sections of anthers of
transgenic male sterile plants showed damaged tapetum.
The pollen germination in the transgenic plants ranged
between 2% and 65% that confirmed the impairment in
pollen production leading to male sterility and low seed
yield. Thus, inhibition of serine proteinases that are
expressed during anther development has resulted in
impaired pollen production and male sterility, though the
exact role of these proteinases in anther development still
has to be elucidated.