University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Identification of the Pollen Self-incompatibility Determinant in Papaver rhoeas.

Wheeler, Mike and de Graaf, B. and Hadjiosif, N. and Perry, R. and Poulter, N. and Osman, K. and Vatovec, S. and Harper, A. and Franklin, C. and Franklin-Tong, V. (2009) Identification of the Pollen Self-incompatibility Determinant in Papaver rhoeas. Nature, 459. pp. 992-995. ISSN Print: 0028-0836 Online: 1476-4687

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Higher plants produce seed through pollination, using specific interactions between pollen and pistil. Self-incompatibility is an important mechanism used in many species to prevent inbreeding; it is controlled by a multi-allelic S locus1,2. ‘Self’ (incompatible) pollen is discriminated from ‘non-self’ (compatible) pollen by interaction of pollen and pistil S locus components, and is subsequentlyinhibited. In Papaver rhoeas, the pistil S locus product is a small protein that interacts with incompatible pollen, triggering a Ca21-dependent signalling network, resulting in pollen inhibition and programmed cell death3–7. Here we have cloned three alleles of a highly polymorphic pollen-expressed gene, PrpS (Papaver rhoeas pollen S), from Papaver and provide evidence that this encodes the pollen S locus determinant. PrpS is a single-copy gene linked to the pistil S gene (currently called S, but referred to hereafter as PrsS for Papaver rhoeas stigma S determinant). Sequence analysis indicates that PrsS and PrpS are equally ancient and probably co-evolved. PrpS encodes a novel 20-kDa protein. Consistent with predictions that it is a transmembrane protein, PrpS is associated with the plasma membrane. We show that a predicted extracellular loop segment of PrpS interacts with PrsS and, using PrpS antisense oligonucleotides, we demonstrate that PrpS is involved in S-specific inhibition of incompatible pollen. Identification of PrpS represents a major advance in our understanding of the Papaver self-incompatibility system. As a novel cell–cell recognition determinant it contributes to the available information concerning the origins and evolution of cell–cell recognition systems involved in discrimination between self and non-self, which also include histocompatibility systems in primitive chordates and vertebrates.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: self-incompatibility, cell-cell recognition, Papaver rhoeas, genetics
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Science and the Environment
Depositing User: Mike Wheeler
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 08:10
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2015 21:20

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