Self-Incompatibility Genes in Flowering Plants

  • E. C. Cornish
  • J. M. Pettitt
  • A. E. Clarke
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


Within a population of flowering plants outbreeding and random mating is achieved mainly by reducing or preventing self-fertilization. While selective pollination provides for efficient pollen transfer between individuals of the same species, the principal device promoting outbreeding is self-incompatibility, a device providing for selective fertilization. Selfincompatibility operates to ensure that a plant preferentially accepts fertilization by another, genetically different, individual of the same species. In the flowering plants, unlike animal and algal systems, the incompatibility reaction is not between the gametes themselves, but between a property of the haploid genome of the male gametophyte contained in the pollen grain and the female somatic pistil tissue of the sporophyte, or between diploid factors carried by the pollen grain and the pistil tissue of the sporophyte. The former reaction is referred to as the gametophytic system of control, and the latter, the sporophytic system of control. The reaction occurs in the gametophytic system when alleles of the incompatibility gene, or gens, in the male gametophyte and pistil are matched, and in the sporophytic system when the alleles of the gene encoding the diploid factors carried by the pollen match those in the pistil. However, superimposed upon these genetical criteria of incompatibility are morphological mechanisms. The morphological classification of the incompatibility systems includes two basic types, heteromorphic and homomorphic.


Pollen Tube Pollen Tube Growth Male Gametophyte Trifolium Pratense Incompatibility Reaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, M. A., Cornish, E. C., Mau, S.-L., Williams, E. G., Hoggart, R., Atkinson, A., Bonig, I., Grego, B., Simpsom, R., Roche, P. J., Haley, J. D., Penschow, J. D., Niall, H. D., Tregear, G. W., Coghlan, J. P., Crawford, R. J., Clarke, A. E., 1986: Cloning of cDNA for a stylar glycoprotein associated with expression of self-incompatibility in Nicotiana alata. Nature, Lond. 321, 38–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ascher, P. D., 1975: Special stylar property required for compatible pollen tube growth in Lilium longiflorum Thunb. Bot. Gaz. 136, 317–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ascher, P. D., Peloquin, S. J., 1966 a: Influence of temperature on incompatible and compatible pollen tube growth in Lilium longiflorum. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 8, 661–664.Google Scholar
  4. Ascher, P. D., Peloquin, S. J., 1966 b: Effect of floral ageing on the growth of compatible and incompatible pollen tube growth in Lilium longiflorum. Am. J. Bot. 53, 99–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bateman, A. J., 1952: Self-incompatibility systems in angiosperms. I. Theory. Heredity 6, 285–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bawa, K. S., Beach, J. H., 1981: Evolution of sexual systems in flowering plants. Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 68, 254–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bredemeijer, G. M. M., Blass, J., 1981: S-specific proteins in styles of self-incompatible Nicotiana alata. Theor. appl. Genet. 59, 185–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, J. M., Lawrence, M. J., 1981: The population genetics of self-incompatibility polymorphism in Papaver rhoeas. 2. Number and frequency of S-alleles in a natural population (R 106). Heredity 46, 81–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cresti, M., Ciampolini, F., Pacini, E., 1977: Ultrastructurall aspects of pollen tube growth inhibition after gamma irradiation in Lycopersicon peruvianum. Theor. appl. Genet. 49, 297–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cresti, M., van Went, J. L., Pacini, E., Willemse, M. T. M., 1976: Ultrastructure of transmitting tissue of Lycopersicon peruvianum style: development and histochemistry. Planta 132, 305–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Darwin, C., 1877: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. John Murray, London.Google Scholar
  12. Dickinson, H. G., Lawson, J., 1975: Pollen tube growth in the stigma of Oenothera organensis following compatible and incompatible intraspecific pollinations. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 188, 327–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dickinson, H. G., Lewis, D., 1973: Cytochemical and ultrastructural differences between intraspecific compatible and incompatible pollinations in Raphanus. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 183, 21–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dickinson, H. G., Moriarty, J., Lawson, J., 1982: Pollen-pistil interaction in Lilium longiflorum: the role of the pistil in controlling pollen tube growth following cross-and self-pollinations. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 215, 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donk, J. A. W. van der 1975: Recognition and gene expression during the incompatibility reaction in Petunia hybrida L. Mol. Gen. Genet. 141, 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Emerson, S., 1938: The genetics of self-incompatibility in Oenothera organensis. Genetics 23, 190–202.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Ferrari, T. E., Bruns, D., Wallace, D. H., 1981: Isolation of a plant glycoprotein involved with control of intercellular recognition. Plant Physiol. 67, 270–277.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ganders, F. R., 1979: The biology of heterostyly. N. Z. J. Bot. 17, 607–635.Google Scholar
  19. Heslop-Harrison, J., 1978: Genetics and physiology of angiosperm incompatibility systems. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 202, 73–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heslop-Harrison, J., 1983: Self-incompatibility: phenomenology and physiology. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 218, 371–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Heslop-Harrison, J., Heslop-Harrison, Y., 1982 a: The pollen-stigma interaction in the grasses. 4. An interpretation of the self-incompatibility response. Acta Bot. Neerl. 31, 429–439.Google Scholar
  22. Heslop-Harrison, J., Heslop-Harrison, Y., 1982 b: Pollen-stigma interaction in the Leguminosae: constituents of the stylar fluid and the stigma secretion of Trifolium pratense L. Ann. Bot. 49, 729–735.Google Scholar
  23. Hinata, K., Nishio, T., 1978: S-allele specificity of stigma proteins in Brassica oleracea and B. campestris. Heredity 41, 93–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hinata, K., Nishio, T., Kimura, J., 1982: Comparative studies on S-glycoproteins purified from different S-genotypes in self-incompatible Brassica species. II. Immunological specificities. Genetics 100, 649–657.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kamboj, R. K, Jackson, J. F., 1986: Self-incompatibility alleles control of a low molecular weight, basic protein in pistils of Petunia hybrida. Theor. appl. Genet. 71, 815–819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kovaleva, L. V., Milyaeva, E. L., Chuilukhyan, M. K. H., 1978: Overcoming self-incompatibility by inhibitors of nucleic acid and protein metabolism. Phytomorphology 28, 445–449.Google Scholar
  27. Kroes, H. W., 1973: An enzyme theory of self-incompatibility. Incompat. Newsletter Assoc. EURATOM-ITAL., Wageningen 2, 5–14.Google Scholar
  28. Lawrence, M. J., Marshall, D. F., Curtis, V. E., Fearon, C. H., 1985: Gametophytic self-incompatibility re-examined: a reply. Heredity 54, 131–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lewis, D., 1942: The physiology of incompatibility in plants. I. The effect of temperature. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 131, 13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lewis, D., 1952: Serological reactions of pollen incompatibility substances. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 140, 127–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lewis, D., 1954: Comparative incompatibility in angiosperms and fungi. Advan. Genet. 6, 235–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lewis, D., 1964: A protein dimer hypothesis on incompatibility. Proc. 11th Internat. Congr. Genet. The Hague, 1963. In: Genetics Today, S. J. Geerts (ed.) 3, 656–663.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, D., Burrage, S., Walls, D., 1967: Immunological reactions of single pollen grains, electrophoresis and enzymology of pollen protein exudates. J. Exper. Bot. 18, 371–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Linskens, H. F., 1960: Zur Frage der Entstehung von Abwehrkörpern bei der Inkompatibilitätsreaktion von Petunia. III. Mitteilung: Serologische Teste mit Leitgewebs-und Pollenextrakten. Z. Bot. 48, 126–135.Google Scholar
  35. Linskens, J. F., Schrauwen, J. A. M., Donk, M. van der, 1960: Überwindung der Selbstinkompatibiliter durch Röntgenbestrahlung des Griffels. Naturwissenschaften 47, 547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mau, S.-L., Raff, J., Clarke, A. E., 1982: Isolation and partial characterization of components of Prunus avium L. styles, including an antigenic glycoprotein associated with a self-incompatibility genotype. Planta 156, 505–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mau, S.-L., Williams, E. G., Atkinson, A., Anderson, M. A., Cornish, E. C., Grego, B., Simpson, R. J., Kheyer-Pour, A., Clarke, A. E., 1986: Style proteins of a wild tomato (Lycopersicon peruvianum) associated with expression of self-incompatibility. Planta 169, 184–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mulcahy, D. L., Mulcahy, G. B., 1983: Gametophytic self-incompatibility reexamined. Science N. Y. 220, 1247–1251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mulcahy, D. L., Mulcahy, G. B., 1985: Gametophytic self-incompatibility or the more things change …. Heredity 54, 139–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mulcahy, D. L., Mulcahy, G. B., MacMillan, D., 1985: The Heterosis Model: a progress report. pp. 245–250. In: Biotechnology and Ecology of Pollen, D. L. Mulcahy, G. B. Mulcahy, E. Ottaviano (eds.), Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  41. Nasrallah, J. B., Doney, R. C., Nasrallah, M. E., 1985: Biosynthesis of glycoproteins involved in the pollen-stigma interaction of incompatibility in developing flowers of Brassica oleracea L. Planta 165, 100–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nasrallah, J. B., Kao, T.-H., Goldberg, M. L., Nasrallah, M. E., 1985: A cDNA clone encoding an S-locus-specific glycoprotein from Brassica oleracea. Nature, Lond. 318, 263–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nasrallah, J. B., Kao, T.-H., Chen, C.-H., Goldberg, M. L., Nasrallah, M. E., 1987: Amino-acid sequence of glycoproteins encoded by three alleles of the S locus of Brassica oleracea. Nature, Lond. 326, 617–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nasrallah, M. E., Barber, J. T., Wallace, D. H., 1970: Self-incompatibility proteins in plants: detection, genetics, and possible mode of action. Heredity 25, 23–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nasrallah, M. E., Nasrallah, J. B., 1984: Electrophoretic heterogeneity exhibited by the S-allele specific glycoproteins of Brassica. Experientia 40, 279–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nasrallah, M. E., Wallace, D. H., 1967: Immunogenetics of self-incompatibility in Brassica oleracea L. Heredity 22, 519–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nasrallah, M. E., Wallace, D. H., Savo, R. M., 1972: Genotype, protein, phenotype relationships in self-incompatibility of Brassica. Genet. Res. Camb. 20, 151–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nettancourt, D. de, 1969: Radiation effects on the one locus-gametophytic system of self-incompatibility in higher plants. Theor. appl. Genet. 39, 187–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nettancourt, D. de, 1971: The generation of new S alleles at the incompatibility locus of Lycopersicon peruvianum Mill. Theor. appl. Genet. 41, 120–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nettancourt, D. de, 1977: Incompatibility in Angiosperms. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  51. Nishio, T., Hinata, K., 1982: Comparative studies on S-glycoproteins purified from different self-incompatible Brassica species. I. Purification and chemical properties. Genetics 100, 641–647.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Raff, J. W., Knox, R. B., Clarke, A. E., 1981: Style antigens of Prunus avium L. Planta 153, 125–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sarfatti, G., Ciampolini, F., Pacini, E., Cresti, M., 1974: Effects of actinomycin on Lycopersicon peruvianum pollen tube growth and the self-incompatibility reaction. In: Fertilization in Higher Plants, pp. 293–300, H. F. Linskens (ed.), North Holland, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  54. Takayama, S., Isogai, A., Tsukamoto, C., Ueda, Y., Hinata, K., Okazaki, K., Suzuki, A., 1986 a: Isolation and some characterization of S-locus specific glycoproteins associated with self-incompatibility in Brassica campestris. Agric. Biol. Chem. 50, 1365–1367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Takayama, S., Isogai, A., Tsukamoto, C., Ueda, Y., Hinata, K., Okazaki, K., Koseki, K., Suzuki, A., 1986 b: Structure of carbohydrate chains of S-glycoproteins in Brassica campestris associated with self-incompatibility. Agric. Biol. Chem. 50, 1673–1676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Takayama, S., Isogai, A., Tsukamoto, Y. U., Hinata, K., Okazaki, K., Suzuki, A., 1987: Sequence of the S-glycoproteins, products of the Brassica campestris self-incompatibility locus. Nature, Lond. 326, 102–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Williams, E. G., Ramm-Anderson, S., Dumas, C., Mau, S.-L., Clarke, A. E., 1982: The effect of isolated components of Prunus avium L. styles on an in vitro growth of pollen tubes. Planta 156, 517–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Williams, W., 1961: Genetics of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) compatibility. III. The frequency of incompatibility S-alleles in two non-pedigree populations of red clover. J. Genet. 48, 69–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zuberi, M. I., Dickinson, H. G., 1985: Pollen-stigma interaction in Brassica. III. Hydration of the pollen grains. J. Cell Sci. 76, 321–336.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. C. Cornish
    • 1
  • J. M. Pettitt
    • 1
  • A. E. Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Cell Biology Research CentreSchool of Botany University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations