In the gametophytic self-incompatibility system, growth of self-pollen tubes in the style is inhibited in a haplotype-specific manner by S-RNase. The mechanism by which S-RNase confers its specificity is unknown. However, a hypervariable region (RHV in Rosaceae and HVa-HVb in Solanaceae) that differs among the many cloned S-RNase alleles has been proposed to be involved in conferring the S-haplotype specificity of the S-RNase. Region swapping experiments between S-RNases and crystallography of the enzyme support this assumption. However, the deduced amino acid sequences of Sn-RNase and Si-RNase alleles from the European pear (Pyrus communis) were recently found to have an identical RHV. In the present study it is shown that Sn-RNase does not prevent fertilization by Si-pollen haplotype, thus presenting a case in which RHV is not required for the determination of specific pollen rejection by S-RNase, and implying that other regions in the enzyme may be sufficient for this specificity.
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Acknowledgement This study was supported by grant no. 596021602 from the Chief Research Office of the Ministry of Agriculture in Israel.
- European pear
- Gametophytic self-incompatibility