Plant self-incompatibility systems: a molecular evolutionary perspective

Authors

  • Deborah Charlesworth,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Ashworth Laboratory, King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK;
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  • Xavier Vekemans,

    1. Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, UMR CNRS 8016 – FR CNRS 1818, Bâtiment SN2, Université de Lille 1, F-59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France;
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  • Vincent Castric,

    1. Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, UMR CNRS 8016 – FR CNRS 1818, Bâtiment SN2, Université de Lille 1, F-59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France;
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  • Sylvain Glémin

    1. UMR5171, ‘Génome, Populations, Interactions, Adaptation’, Université Montpellier II, CC63 Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cedex 05, France
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Author for correspondence: Deborah Charlesworth Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 5751 Fax: +44 (0) 131 650 6564 Email: deborah.charlesworth@ed.ac.uk

Summary

Incompatibility recognition systems preventing self-fertilization have evolved several times in independent lineages of Angiosperm plants, and three main model systems are well characterized at the molecular level [the gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) systems of Solanaceae, Rosaceae and Anthirrhinum, the very different system of poppy, and the system in Brassicaceae with sporophytic control of pollen SI reactions]. In two of these systems, the genes encoding both components of pollen-pistil recognition are now known, showing clearly that these two proteins are distinct, that is, SI is a lock-and-key mechanism. Here, we review recent findings in the three well-studied systems in the light of these results and analyse their implications for understanding polymorphism and coevolution of the two SI genes, in the context of a tightly linked genome region.

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