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Science. 2010 Dec 24;330(6012):1827-30. doi: 10.1126/science.1197908.

A pollen factor linking inter- and intraspecific pollen rejection in tomato.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Self-incompatibility (SI)--intraspecific pollen recognition systems that allow plants to avoid inbreeding--in the Solanaceae (the nightshade family) is controlled by a polymorphic S locus where "self" pollen is rejected on pistils with matching S alleles. In contrast, unilateral interspecific incompatibility (UI) prevents hybridization between related species, most commonly when the pollen donor is self-compatible (SC) and the recipient is SI. We observed that in Solanum, a pollen-expressed Cullin1 gene with high similarity to Petunia SI factors interacts genetically with a gene at or near the S locus to control UI. Cultivated tomato and related red- or orange-fruited species (all SC) exhibit the same loss-of-function mutation in this gene, whereas the green-fruited species (mostly SI) contain a functional allele; hence, similar biochemical mechanisms underlie the rejection of both "self" and interspecific pollen.

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