Many flowering plants are hermaphrodite, posing the problem of self-fertilization and the subsequent loss of the genetic fitness of the offspring. To prevent this, many plants have developed a genetically controlled mechanism called self-incompatibility (SI). When the male and female S-determinants match, self (incompatible) pollen is recognized and rejected before fertilization can occur. In poppy (Papaver rhoeas), the pistil S-determinant (PrsS) is a small secreted protein that interacts with incompatible pollen, initiating a Ca2+-dependent signalling network. SI triggers several downstream events, including depolymerization of the cytoskeleton, phosphorylation of two soluble inorganic pyrophosphatases and an MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase). This culminates in PCD (programmed cell death) involving several caspase-like activities. The recent discovery of the Papaver pollen S-determinant PrpS marks a significant step forward in the understanding of the Papaver SI system. PrpS encodes a ~20 kDa predicted transmembrane protein which has no homology with known proteins. It is specifically expressed in pollen, linked to the pistil S-determinant, and displays the high polymorphism expected of an S-locus determinant. The present review focuses on the discovery and characterization of PrpS which strongly support the hypothesis that Papaver SI is triggered by the interaction of PrsS and PrpS.
Self-incompatibility in Papaver: identification of the pollen S-determinant PrpS
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Natalie S. Poulter, Michael J. Wheeler, Maurice Bosch, Vernonica E. Franklin-Tong; Self-incompatibility in Papaver: identification of the pollen S-determinant PrpS. Biochem Soc Trans 1 April 2010; 38 (2): 588–592. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST0380588
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