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Plant Cell. 1994 Dec;6(12):1923-32.

Cloning a putative self-incompatibility gene from the pollen of the grass Phalaris coerulescens.

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  • 1Centre for Cereal Biotechnology, Waite Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia.


In Phalaris coerulescens, gametophytic self-incompatibility is controlled by two unlinked genes: S and Z. A probable S gene has now been isolated and sequenced. This represents a novel self-incompatibility gene isolated from pollen in the multilocus system of a monocotyledonous plant. The gene is approximately 3 kb long, split by five introns, and exclusively expressed in the mature pollen. The deduced amino acid sequences from the S1, S2, and part of the S4 alleles showed that the protein has a variable N terminus and a conserved C terminus. The sequence of a complete mutant at the S locus indicated that mutations in the conserved C terminus, a thioredoxin-like region, led to loss of function. We propose that the gene has two distinct sections, a variable N terminus determining allele specificity and a conserved C terminus with the catalytic function. The gene structure and its deduced protein sequences strongly suggest that this monocotyledon has developed a self-incompatibility system entirely different from those operating in the dicotyledons. The possible interactions between S and Z genes in both pollen and stigma are discussed.

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