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The molecular basis of cell-cell interactions in self-incompatibility


To elucidate the molecular basis of gametophytic self incompatibility in crop plants.
The projects first year objectives focused on characterization of the potato soluble ribonucleic acid (sRNAse) alleles S1 and S2 and specifically the genomic sequence determination and expression of recombinant protein in E coli Baculovirus. Other objectives were to test for sRNAse sequences in potato anther using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to set up PCR tests for sRNAse related sequences in rye, and to construct a complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) bank from another ribonucleic acid (RNA).

The research was directed in the following studies:
identification of Slocus defined potato plants;
methods for identifying S1 genotypes;
ultrastructural analysis of fertilization in self incompatibility (SI) potato lines;
biochemical basis for gametophytic self incompatibility;
characterization of the potato stylar S linked STs sRNAse gene;
pollen specific gene expression in SI;
transformation methodology for tomato.

A cDNA bank has been constructed to fertilized styles rather than anthens in order to include transcripts produced only in germinated pollen. The discovery of denovo messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) synthesis in germinating pollen is significant and strategies for characterizing the SI pollen-pistil interaction have been modified. The molecular analysis of gametophytic SI progressed significantly following the isolation of the gene encoding the female component of the system.

The completed project will provide information on how to exploit this natural system of fertilization control for the production of hybrids and overcoming certain species barriers.
Plant biology is undergoing an informative explosion as a result of the application of molecular techniques. The initiative
presented here proposes a concerted effort to elucidate a key aspect of plant biology, cell-cell interactions as exemplified by self-incompatibility. Progress in this area should also
improve our understanding of related fundamental processes such as tissue and organ differentiation and the pathogen-host
The project concentrates on further characterization of the
stylar component of the SI reaction, coupled with a number of novel approaches towards identification of the pollen component of the interaction. The research grouping brings together
expertise in classical and molecular genetics, biochemistry, tissue culture and ultrastructure sciences.


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