Genetics

Recognizing Oneself

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Science  16 Feb 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5814, pp. 914
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5814.914b

Self-incompatibility, a plant's rejection of pollen from itself or a closely related individual, prevents inbreeding, which can lead to a loss of heterozygosity and deleterious combinations of recessive alleles. Arabidopsis has become self-compatible, whereas several closely related species, including Brassica, remain self-incompatible. Both the S-locus receptor kinase (SRK) and the S-locus protein 11 (SP11/SCR) are implicated in the phenomenon.

Shimosato et al. have investigated the interaction between SP11 and SRK in Brassica. Two proteins of 60 and 100 kD were previously shown to bind to SP11; both are forms of SRK, with the smaller one being a truncated, though still membrane-bound, form of the full-length protein. The latter binds to SP11 with high affinity whereas the former does not, suggesting that they may function differently. Sherman-Broyles et al. have investigated the maintenance and degradation of the SRK and SCR genes. They found that in comparison to the fully sequenced Arabidopsis Columbia-0 accession, both genes in the C24 accession have undergone extensive rearrangement and significant parts of the SCR gene have been deleted, possibly through the insertion and deletion of transposable elements. These differences in the S locus region suggest that these genes have followed different trajectories after the loss of self-incompatibility. — LMZ

Plant Cell 19, 10.1105/tpc.105.038869; 10.1105/tpc.106.048199 (2007).

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