Gametophytic self-incompatibility in the Solanaceae is controlled by a multiallelic locus called the S locus. Growth of pollen tubes in the pistil is inhibited when the pollen has one of the two S alleles carried by the pistil. The products of a number of pistil S alleles-S proteins or S RNases-have been identified, and their role in controlling the pistil's ability to reject self-pollen has been positively established. In contrast, the existence of pollen S allele products has so far been inferred entirely from genetic evidence. Here, we introduced a modified S3 gene of Petunia inflata encoding an S3 RNase lacking RNase activity into P. inflata plants of the S2S3 genotype to determine whether the production of the mutant protein, designated S3(H93R), would have any effect on the ability of the transgenic plants to reject S2 and S3 pollen. Analysis of the self-incompatibility behavior of 49 primary transgenic plants and the progeny of three plants (H30, H37, and H40) that produced S3(H93R) in addition to producing wild-type levels of endogenous S2 and S3 RNases revealed that S3(H93R) had a dominant negative effect on the function of the S3 RNase in rejecting self-pollen; however, it had no effect on the function of the S2 RNase. One likely explanation of the results is that S3(H93R) competes with the S3 RNase for binding to a common molecule, which is presumably the product of the pollen S3 allele.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology