The determinants of recognition specificity of self-incompatibility in Brassica are SRK in the stigma and SP11/SCR in the pollen, both of which are encoded in the S locus. The nucleotide sequence analyses of many SRK and SP11/SCR alleles have identified several interspecific pairs of S haplotypes having highly similar sequences between B. oleracea and B. rapa. These interspecific pairs of S haplotypes are considered to be derived from common ancestors and to have maintained the same recognition specificity after speciation. In this study, the genome structures of three interspecific pairs of S haplotypes were compared by sequencing SRK, SP11/SCR, and their flanking regions. Regions between SRK and SP11/SCR in B. oleracea were demonstrated to be much longer than those of B. rapa and several retrotransposon-like sequences were identified in the S locus in B. oleracea. Among the seven retrotransposon-like sequences, six sequences were found to belong to the ty3 gypsy group. The gag sequences of the retrotransposon-like sequences were phylogenetically different from each other. In Southern blot analysis using retrotransposon-like sequences as probes, the B. oleracea genome showed more signals than the B. rapa genome did. These findings suggest a role for the S locus and genome evolution in self-incompatible plant species.
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