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Ann Bot. 2015 Apr;115(5):789-805. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcv008. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

In vivo imaging of the S-locus receptor kinase, the female specificity determinant of self-incompatibility, in transgenic self-incompatible Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Section of Plant Biology, 412 Mann Library Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.
Section of Plant Biology, 412 Mann Library Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA



The S-locus receptor kinase (SRK), which is expressed in stigma epidermal cells, is responsible for the recognition and inhibition of 'self' pollen in the self-incompatibility (SI) response of the Brassicaceae. The allele-specific interaction of SRK with its cognate pollen coat-localized ligand, the S-locus cysteine-rich (SCR) protein, is thought to trigger a signalling cascade within the stigma epidermal cell that leads to the arrest of 'self' pollen at the stigma surface. In addition to the full-length signalling SRK receptor, stigma epidermal cells express two other SRK protein species that lack the kinase domain and whose role in the SI response is not understood: a soluble version of the SRK ectodomain designated eSRK and a membrane-tethered form designated tSRK. The goal of this study was to describe the sub-cellular distribution of the various SRK protein species in stigma epidermal cells as a prelude to visualizing receptor dynamics in response to SCR binding.


The Arabidopsis lyrata SRKb variant was tagged with the Citrine variant of yellow fluorescent protein (cYFP) and expressed in A. thaliana plants of the C24 accession, which had been shown to exhibit a robust SI response upon transformation with the SRKb-SCRb gene pair. The transgenes used in this study were designed for differential production and visualization of the three SRK protein species in stigma epidermal cells. Transgenic stigmas were analysed by pollination assays and confocal microscopy.


Pollination assays demonstrated that the cYFP-tagged SRK proteins are functional and that the eSRK is not required for SI. Confocal microscopic analysis of cYFP-tagged SRK proteins in live stigma epidermal cells revealed the differential sub-cellular localization of the three SRK protein species but showed no evidence for redistribution of these proteins subsequent to incompatible pollination.


Arabidopsis lyrata; Arabidopsis thaliana; S-locus receptor kinase; confocal microscopy; live-cell imaging; self-incompatibility; stigma epidermal cell; yellow fluorescent protein

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