Self-incompatibility (SI) response in Brassica is initiated by haplotype-specific interactions between the pollen-borne ligand S locus protein 11/SCR and its stigmatic S receptor kinase, SRK. This binding induces autophosphorylation of SRK, which is then thought to trigger a signaling cascade that leads to self-pollen rejection. A recessive mutation of the modifier (m) gene eliminates the SI response in stigma. Positional cloning of M has revealed that it encodes a membrane-anchored cytoplasmic serine/threonine protein kinase, designated M locus protein kinase (MLPK). Transient expression of MLPK restores the ability of mm papilla cells to reject self-pollen, suggesting that MLPK is a positive mediator of Brassica SI signaling.
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