The self-incompatibility (SI) response of the Brassicaceae is mediated by allele-specific interaction between the stigma-localized S-locus receptor kinase (SRK) and its ligand, the pollen coat-localized S-locus cysteine-rich protein (SCR). Based on work in Brassica spp., the thioredoxin h-like proteins THL1 and THL2, which interact with SRK, have been proposed to function as oxidoreductases that negatively regulate SRK catalytic activity. By preventing the spontaneous activation of SRK in the absence of SCR ligand, these thioredoxins are thought to be essential for the success of cross pollinations in self-incompatible plants. However, the in planta role of thioredoxins in the regulation of SI signaling has not been conclusively demonstrated. Here, we addressed this issue using Arabidopsis thaliana plants transformed with the SRKb-SCRb gene pair isolated from self-incompatible Arabidopsis lyrata. These plants express an intense SI response, allowing us to exploit the extensive tools and resources available in A. thaliana for analysis of SI signaling. To test the hypothesis that SRK is redox regulated by thioredoxin h, we expressed a mutant form of SRKb lacking a transmembrane-localized cysteine residue thought to be essential for the SRK-thioredoxin h interaction. We also analyzed transfer DNA insertion mutants in the A. thaliana orthologs of THL1 and THL2. In neither case did we observe an effect on the pollination responses of SRKb-expressing stigmas toward incompatible or compatible pollen. Our results are consistent with the conclusion that, contrary to their proposed role, thioredoxin h proteins are not required to prevent the spontaneous activation of SRK in the A. thaliana stigma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science