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Plant Cell. 1997 Feb;9(2):237-47.

The self-incompatibility (S) haplotypes of Brassica contain highly divergent and rearranged sequences of ancient origin.

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


In Brassica, the recognition of self-related pollen by the stigma is controlled by the highly polymorphic S locus that encodes several linked and coadapted genes and can span several hundred kilobases. We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to analyze the structure of different S haplotypes. We show that the S2 and S13 haplotypes of Brassica oleracea contain extensive sequence divergence and rearrangement relative to each other. In contrast, haplotypic configuration is more conserved between B. oleracea S13 and B. campestris S8, two haplotypes that have been proposed to be derived from a common ancestral haplotype based on sequence comparisons. These results support the view that extensive restructuring of the S locus preceded speciation in Brassica. This structural heteromorphism, together with haplotype-specific sequences, may suppress recombination within the S locus complex, potentially providing a mechanism for maintaining the linkage of coadapted allelic combinations of genes over time.

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