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Dev Biol. 1989 Aug;134(2):462-72.

The S-locus specific glycoproteins of Brassica accumulate in the cell wall of developing stigma papillae.

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Section of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


Self-incompatibility in Brassica oleracea is now viewed as a cellular interaction between pollen and the papillar cells of the stigma surface. In this species, the inhibition of self-pollen occurs at the stigma surface under the influence of S-locus specific glycoproteins (SLSG). We used antibodies specific for a protein epitope of SLSG to study the subcellular distribution of these molecules in the stigmatic papillae. The antibodies have uncovered an interesting epitope polymorphism in SLSG encoded by subsets of S-alleles, thus providing us with useful genetic controls to directly verify the specificity of the immunolocalization data. Examination of thin sections of Brassica stigmas following indirect immunogold labeling showed that SLSG accumulate in the papillar cell wall, at the site where inhibition of self-pollen tube development has been shown to occur. In addition, the absence of gold particles over the papillar cell walls in the immature stigmas of very young buds, and the intense labeling of these walls in the stigmas of mature buds and open flowers, correlates well with the acquisition of the self-incompatibility response by the developing stigma.

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