Molecular recognition and response in pollen and pistil interactions

A. G. McCubbin, T. H. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

172 Citations (SciVal)


Many bisexual flowering plants possess a reproductive strategy called self-incompatibility (SI) that enables the female tissue (the pistil) to reject self but accept non-self pollen for fertilization. Three different SI mechanisms are discussed, each controlled by two separate, highly polymorphic genes at the S-locus. For the Solanaceae and Papaveraceae types, the genes controlling female function in SI, the S-RNase gene and the S-gene, respectively, have been identified. For the Brassicaceae type, the gene controlling male function, SCR/SP11, and the gene controlling female function, SRK, have been identified. The S-RNase based mechanism involves degradation of RNA of self-pollen tubes; the S-protein based mechanism involves a signal transduction cascade in pollen, including a transient rise in [Ca2+]i and subsequent protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation; and the SRK (a receptor kinase) based mechanism involves interaction of a pollen ligand, SCR/SP11, with SRK, followed by a signal transduction cascade in the stigmatic surface cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-364
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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