Table of Contents: May 2013

Many flowering plants avoid the problem of self-fertilization through systems of self-incompatibility, which allow plants to recognize and reject their own pollen. Self-pollen recognition was first described in the Brassicaceae, and has been identified in all members of this plant family studied to date. It is based on a gene that produces a receptor protein, the S-locus receptor kinase (SRK) gene, and a gene that produces a pollen protein, the S-locus cysteine-rich (SCR) gene. SRK and SCR were lost in the evolutionary lineage leading to Leavenworthia. In Leavenworthia, self-pollen recognition is based on a different receptor kinase gene and on an SCR-like gene, a finding that challenges the notion that the loss of self-pollen recognition is irreversible. See Chantha et al. (e1001560) in this issue.

Image Credit: Dr. Jeremiah Busch


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