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Plant J. 2002 Dec;32(6):985-96.

Molecular analysis of the stylar-expressed Solanum chacoense small asparagine-rich protein family related to the HT modifier of gametophytic self-incompatibility in Nicotiana.

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Département de Sciences Biologiques, Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Université de Montréal, 4101 Sherbrooke est, Montréal, Québec, Canada H1X 2B2.


Gametophytic self-incompatibility (GSI) systems involving the expression of stylar ribonucleases have been described and extensively studied in many plant families including the Solanaceae, Rosaceae and Scrophulariaceae. Pollen recognition and rejection is governed in the style by specific ribonucleases called S-RNases, but in many self-incompatibility (SI) systems, modifier loci that can modulate the SI response have been described at the genetic level. Here, we present at the molecular level, the isolation and characterization of two Solanum chacoense homologues of the Nicotiana HT modifier that had been previously shown to be necessary for the SI reaction to occur in N. alata (McClure et al., 1999). HT homologues from other solanaceous species have also been isolated and a phylogenetic analysis reveals that the HT genes fall into two groups. In S. chacoense, these small proteins named ScHT-A and ScHT-B are expressed in the style and are developmentally regulated during anthesis identically to the S-RNases as well as following compatible and incompatible pollination. To elucidate the precise role of each HT isoform, antisense ScHT-A and RNAi ScHT-B lines were generated. Conversion from SI to self-compatibility (SC) was only observed in RNAi ScHT-B lines with reduced levels of ScHT-B mRNA. These results confirm the role of the HT modifier in solanaceous SI and indicate that only the HT-B isoform is directly involved in SI.

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