Recognition specificity of self-incompatibility in Pyrus and Malus

Wei Heng, Jun Wu, Huaqing Wu, Yufen Cao, Takeshi Nishio, Shao Ling Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Pyrus displays gametophytic self-incompatibility controlled by a single highly polymorphic gene complex termed S locus, which comprises a stylar-expressed gene (S-RNase) tighlty linked with a pollen expressed gene, that determines the specificity of the self-incompatibility locus. Deduced amino acid sequence of 'Meigetsu' S8-RNase in Pyrus pyrifolia and 'Kuerlexiangli' S28-RNase in P. sinkiangensis showed 100% identity. S3-RNase in Malusspectabilis was also found to be similar to S8-RNase in P. pyrifolia with 96. 9% identity in the deduced amino acid sequence. The intron, which is generally highly polymorphic between alleles, was also remarkably well conserved within these allele pairs. The intron of PpS8-RNase showed 95. 3 and 91. 9% identity with PsS28-RNase and MsS3-RNase, respectively. Pollen tube growth in styles, pollen tube length in artificial media containing different S-RNases and segregation of S haplotypes in F1 plants revealed commonality of the recognition specificity between PpS8-RNase and PsS28-RNase and between PpS8-RNase and MsS3-RNase. Results suggested that PpS8-RNase, PsS28-RNase and MsS3-RNase have maintained the same recognition specificity after the divergence of the two species and that amino acid substitutions found between PpS8-RNase and MsS3-RNase do not alter the recognition specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-557
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec


  • Malus
  • Pyrus
  • Recognition specificity
  • S-RNase
  • Self-incompatibility (SI)
  • Trans-specific evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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