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Structural and transcriptional analysis of the self-incompatibility locus of almond: identification of a pollen-expressed F-box gene with haplotype-specific polymorphism.

Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.
The Plant Cell (Impact Factor: 9.58). 04/2003; 15(3):771-81.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gametophytic self-incompatibility in Rosaceae, Solanaceae, and Scrophulariaceae is controlled by the S locus, which consists of an S-RNase gene and an unidentified "pollen S" gene. An approximately 70-kb segment of the S locus of the rosaceous species almond, the S haplotype-specific region containing the S-RNase gene, was sequenced completely. This region was found to contain two pollen-expressed F-box genes that are likely candidates for pollen S genes. One of them, named SFB (S haplotype-specific F-box protein), was expressed specifically in pollen and showed a high level of S haplotype-specific sequence polymorphism, comparable to that of the S-RNases. The other is unlikely to determine the S specificity of pollen because it showed little allelic sequence polymorphism and was expressed also in pistil. Three other S haplotypes were cloned, and the pollen-expressed genes were physically mapped. In all four cases, SFBs were linked physically to the S-RNase genes and were located at the S haplotype-specific region, where recombination is believed to be suppressed, suggesting that the two genes are inherited as a unit. These features are consistent with the hypothesis that SFB is the pollen S gene. This hypothesis predicts the involvement of the ubiquitin/26S proteasome proteolytic pathway in the RNase-based gametophytic self-incompatibility system.

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