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Heredity (Edinb). 2004 May;92(5):380-5.

Distribution of style and pollen polygalacturonases among distylous and homostylous Turnera and Piriqueta spp. (Turneraceae).

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  • 1Department of Biology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3.


We explore the distribution of a style and pollen polygalacturonase in a number of distylous and homostylous species of Turnera, and two species of Piriqueta (Turneraceae). We show, using immunoblotting with antibodies made against these proteins, that the style polygalacturonase is specific to styles of short-styled plants of all the six distylous species of Turnera we have investigated. Styles of a somatic homostylous mutant derived from a short-styled plant do not possess the style polygalacturonase. Distylous P. caroliniana did not appear to possess this protein. We show that the pollen polygalacturonase, while associated with the short-styled morph in three species, is polymorphic among short-styled plants of T. krapovickasii, and absent from T. joelii, T. grandiflora and P. caroliniana. These data support a role for the style polygalacturonase in distyly, possibly in the incompatibility system, but cast doubt on any role for the pollen polygalacturonase. In concert with the predictions for the mode of origin, and the response of styles of homostylous species to pollen from long- and short-styled plants, we find that none of the homostylous species possess the style polygalacturonase. The pollen polygalacturonase does occur in some homostylous species, but not in others. It is not clear that the pollen polygalacturonase, however, provides a marker for the mode of origin of homostyly.

March 2004

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