Plant self-incompatibility systems: a molecular evolutionary perspective

New Phytol. 2005 Oct;168(1):61-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2005.01443.x.


Incompatibility recognition systems preventing self-fertilization have evolved several times in independent lineages of Angiosperm plants, and three main model systems are well characterized at the molecular level [the gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) systems of Solanaceae, Rosaceae and Anthirrhinum, the very different system of poppy, and the system in Brassicaceae with sporophytic control of pollen SI reactions]. In two of these systems, the genes encoding both components of pollen-pistil recognition are now known, showing clearly that these two proteins are distinct, that is, SI is a lock-and-key mechanism. Here, we review recent findings in the three well-studied systems in the light of these results and analyse their implications for understanding polymorphism and coevolution of the two SI genes, in the context of a tightly linked genome region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Reproduction / genetics